she clenches her fist and then spreads her fingers wide. her hand feels ghost-like, as if it might simply fade away.
one. two. three.
(more) she looks out from the apartment windows before her, the wide frames reaching both the ceiling and the floor. the tall buildings in the city's skyline shine across the glass as an invitation to a world she has never had a taste of.
a gray haze folds into the world. the buildings begin to shift and blur into one another, but she closes her eyes before they form a new shape.
after one breath in and one breath out, she opens her eyes again to find the buildings have regained their edges.
her ears catch the sound of soft footsteps behind her and she turns to face her partner. she would have rather come with anyone else, even over-talkative mira, but of course sebastian was the only person capable of keeping up with valysa in this place.
"you ready?" he asks, pulling uncomfortably at his red -- no blue tie.
"as soon as you pick a color," she replies. they can't leave any room for mistakes in here. they have to blend in -- they have to belong.
"i'm just trying to match you."
looking down at her own apparel with furrowed brows, valysa frowns at her subconsciousness's apparent indecision before settling on a deep purple that slowly coats her gown.
"sorry," she says quickly, quietly, and then regains some semblance of composure. she refuses, if it comes down to it, to be the reason they fail. she knows better.
dreams can be so much harsher than the real world.
holding out his hand, sebastian asks, "shall we?"
valysa nods and together they step out into the dream.(less)
"What?" Kyouhei took one look at the suitcase Yagi was holding before he reached over and pulled it into the room, ushering Yagi in with it. "What happened, Yagi?"
"I told Hideki I couldn't do it. That-I didn't want to be just a side job anymore-"(more) He broke off, voice cracking, and Kyouhei motioned to the living room without asking him to continue. Yagi sat on the couch, reaching blindly for his box of cigarettes, but Kyouhei took it from his hands before he could pull out a single one.
"Not in here-"
"I won't light it. I'll just-just need something to distract myself. My hands-"
Kyouhei handed the box back somewhat reluctantly, but Yagi took a cigarette out and began twirling it between his fingers. Once he was sure that he wouldn't choke up the next time he started to talk, he set it in his mouth and took a deep breath.
"There's no return for me, Kyouhei."
"That's not true-"
"I can't go back there." He paused. "I don't /want/ to go back there."
Kyouhei sat beside him, hesitantly reaching over to grip his hand in both of his own tightly.
"Then you don't have to. You can..." Kyouhei looked away. "You can stay here."
"I can't-Kyouhei, I can't do that to you-"
"I want you to stay here," Kyouhei said abruptly, squeezing even tighter. "You don't have to go back to that jerk anyways. All you have to do is stay here."
Yagi tried to keep his face leveled, but one glance at Kyouhei made him close his eyes and take a deep breath.
"You want me to...stay here? You mean it, I mean? With Tsumugi and you?"
Yagi looked down at their joined hands, face flushing.
"Please...take care of me."