the pretty landscape
He still loves you years after your death.
The memories are not fading, but they are being tainted. Like a piece of pristine paper slowly yellowing, starting at the edges, and then moving in.
One memory specifically shines, though, even as the other ones begin to dim. You’re already married—the crow was always the lucky bastard, from the moment you chose him—yet, it’s just the two of you up in the mountains after being separated from the rest of the group. Kyoga managed to find a little cabin, one surrounded by pretty landscape.
“I’ve been here once,” you said. “Chikage brought me up when he was fighting his friend. Oh, there’s a beautiful spot nearby. I think you’ll like it.”
The both of you made your way to the beautiful spot—a clear lake, surrounded by flowers. The sun was shining brightly through the foliage, almost blinding, but not quite. Kyoga had never been a sappy sort of ayakashi, but he swore that moment was the one he wished was frozen for all eternity.
You pulled him to the body of water, where you immediately began taking off your sandals. You rolled up your pants and sat down, sighing gratefully at the cool relief of water.
You smiled up at him, and he knew—knew—there would be nobody who could ever make him feel the way you did, and that he would never love another.
He sat down with you, wore the flower crown you braided, joked about being lost forever. He engraved the moment into his mind like a carver, absolutely burned it into his soul, and when Chikage arrived in a rush of black feathers, watched you go.
He loves you, always will. Still, a long life stretched out before him with no companionship and you eventually have children—even if the both of you wanted to elope, you wouldn’t. And he could never try to make you love him, not when there wasn’t a happy ending in sight.
But then you die, as humans do.
Kyoga doesn’t remember quite what happens after that. It is as if a year simply blurs into a single moment and the next thing he knows, Miyabi and Yukinojo are telling him he has to stop grieving. Demanding it, almost. Kyoga nods along, makes promises, then packs his things and leaves. He travels a great deal, but ultimately ends up in front of a gentle Buddhist monk.
He grasps the theory of reincarnation like a lifeline, clings to it as a dying man would to his savior.
He waits for you.
(And this time, Chikage will not win your heart.)
A/N: romancingpixels had this August month full of pain idea going on, and I couldn’t help myself. But I couldn’t make it too much angst because I am stubborn like that.
Also, I’m apparently a pile of mayonnaise.