The sea.

Its horizon.

Its sunrise.

Its sunset.

How can one hate them so much?

How can one hate these simple yet meaningful things?

Purple? Orange? Blue? Green?

What difference would it make? For someone who could only see a monochromatic world of grey, all of those things were meaningless.

What might be beautiful to some, breathtaking to a few, inspiring to all, everything, they all look grey.

Lifeless, blank, meaningless.

What is to be happy about? When one's a painter who can't even discern what colors were on his palette...wouldn't that really be the most ridiculous thing?


Panorama


"It's really something...isn't it?"

There was only pure appreciation in his practiced eyes. Respect, adoration were there too, adding to the sophisticated art that was his face. His long fingered hands were holding different brochures, his sling bag dangling messily beside him. Yet the untidy jeans splattered with paint, the crumpled white polo, just made him all the more breathtaking.

"I know right?" the other replied, used to the attention his friend always seem to attract whenever, wherever, however they were. "She's really something...this goddess of yours Yukina."

"Whatever her medium is...charcoal...oil paint...water color...I would still know where her work is from afar, as if calling me. That's just how it is..." the breathtaking man called Yukina whispered. It was as if he was looking to the love of his life. That four by four canvas of vibrant colors, just kept on sucking him in. "And now...pastel...just how many times does she intend to make me lose my breath?"

The guy beside Yukina, with Akasaki Jin on his ID clipped at the pocket of his jeans, smiled. He had the same height and built like Yukina but was exuding more of a darker atmosphere. That didn't make him any less attractive though. He'd been with Yukina Kou since the start of art school so he'd known the man to be a crazy fan and follower of Kiseina. A famous artist, a flexible genius.

"Too bad Yukina," Jin mumbled with a hint of laugh. "She's far from your grasp...being the anonymous superstar that she is."

"Shut up. It's not like I am dreaming her to be my girlfriend or something."

"Give me a break," Jin replied with sarcasm. "You're looking at her paintings as if you're about to rape them."

"Shut up. This is pure admiration. Admiration with respect, alright?"

"Hai...hai...says the man who'd been sending out cheesy fanmails since he was eleven. Man that's for ten whole years already," Jin scratched the back of his nape and looked around. "You'd make a seriously creepy stalker with that obsession."

"I'd respect her with all my nerves if she ever appeared before me you dumbass."

Jin just rolled his eyes, aware that Yukina was actually head-over heals with someone he haven't even seen in person once. It wasn't just love for this Kiseina paintings. Yukina was obviously into the anonymous painter as well.

"Well...I'll go look around the other paintings here in this exhibit. I doubt I can drag you any sooner from the spot you're fixed right now. See yah within an hour at the lobby?"

"Hmm."

"Alright."

It was always like this. Yukina and Kiseina's paintings by the wall. Nothing else exists in that hall except them. He would just stand there as if he was having a silent conversation with the scenery captured forever in that canvas.

"You've been staring at it for so long now...is it really that great?"

"It is..." Yukina replied that sounded like a sigh.

"Hmft. Idiot."

"...!?"

Yukina who was in his most relaxed state suddenly got pulled down at the sound of the annoying smirk he heard. He hastily looked beside him, realizing that he had to look down to see who it was. The person who just belittled not just him but the painting as well was a foot shorter. Dark hair, dark eyes, young.

"Did I just hear you call me idiot?"

"Ah...right. I called you idiot," the young man replied, his face devoid of expression as he glanced at Yukina back to the painting behind glass. "What's so good at that? Abstract? Abstract paintings just mean the artist had no subject in mind. What's so good about this when you can't even understand what it is about?"

Yukina tried to relax. If he was drunk, he'd have sure he'd already sent this short, foul-mouthed guy flying.

"Don't say things like that when you don't even understand what art is. This work is awesome."

"Eh...awesome huh? Piece of crap to me. Why is it even in display?"

A shade of anger was starting to rise in Yukina's eyes. He held the brochures tightly and drew short breaths. He hated people the most who keeps on mouthing without even knowing much.

"Let me tell you what the artist is saying in this painting," Yukina said, his voice was stern. "The artist is saying 'I am angry'."

"..."

"Kiseina probably was very angry at something while doing this. I can feel goosebumps just looking at it. The dark colors overcoating the more lighter ones, the shading, they look like fire if you look closely. They are silent shouts of anger and grief."

The shorter guy glanced at the abstract painting. The reflection in his eyes was still lifeless. A hopeless longing.

"Then...you better find someone else to worship Mr. Poetic Man," said the annoying stranger with such authority. He turned his back and started walking away in a manner as if he was being suffocated in that room.

"Huh?" Yukina exclaimed, taking a step forward.

The stranger never looked back. But he answered in such chilling words.

"Kiseina...will never paint again."

"Huuuuh?"


In an empty classroom, sketching easels pushed to the side, wide open windows with almost transparent curtains played before his eyes. Very distant sounds of talking and laughter from the hallways and out the campus mingled with the sound of tree leaves moving with the wind. The wind chime by the windows creating a sweet sound, making him see the blue ocean he hated at the back of his mind.

He looked at the floor. A couple of empty oil tubes were there, broken pastels and numerous crampled sketch pads were scattered. He slowly bended his knees and picked the red oil tube. Silently uncapping it, he tried squeezing what little he could squeeze out. Only a meer drop came out, resting at the tip of his forefinger like he just got pricked by a needle.

He stared at the red dot on his finger for so long. As if he was searching something on it. He was searching for that 'red'. But all he could see was a deep shade of grey sticking on his much paler grey skin.

"They say dogs see a world of grey...have I become a dog?"

"No, you have not become a dog. A tresspaser...yes."

The guy on the floor stood up hurriedly, unknowingly wiping the red oil dot on his finger against his jeans as he looked towards the door. A familiar face was there, not looking that very happy.

"You're the fowl-mouthed guy at the exhibit the other day...I didn't know you're a student here as well? First year?"

"I am not a student here. I am just...touring around."

"Heh..." the man by the door went in and started picking the trash on the floor. Some of the crampled papers have the student's name on it. "As you can see, my techniques with the pastel suck. I look like an idiot for trying so hard, don't I?"

"If you know that, then stop."

Yukina Kou laughed a forceful one before looking up. In that angle, many would have swooned. But the short guy just remained the lifeless, quiet doll staring back down.

"You really know how to annoy people, don't you?"

"So I've been told."

"Wah...you're not denying it all," Yukina shook his head and stood abruptly. The gap between their heights very prominent. "So...who are you? Mr. Know-it-all-san?"

They just stood looking at each other. By the minute it was getting awkward. The stranger seemed to have none of those want to exchange conversations at all. Contrary to Yukina who liked talking and was lively if he wanted to.

"Anyway...if you have nothing to do here, can you leave?" Yukina asked, pulling his sleeves to his elbows as he started pulling one of the sketching easels. "I've still got some things to do that not some like you could appreciate."

The stranger's eyes were fixed at the bandages on the tall guy's left-wrist. He couldn't take his eyes off them. He silently looked, almost glared at them.

Yukina noticed it right away and glanced at it himself. "I got into a minor accident a month ago, but it's nothing very serious."

"Accident?"

"Ah yup...I almost got rolled over by a car at the scramble crossing in Shibuya last month. I was sick that time...my vision was swirling," Yukina stated nonchalantly. "...I really don't know what happened next. When I woke up, I was already at the hospital."

The stranger listened hard. As if every word was a button pulling open the curtains of more of his hatred.

"Maa...I am really thankful for that person who saved me...but the doctor wouldn't let me see him...I don't even know his name-" Yukina suddenly stopped, just realizing that he again just had let his mouth ran off on its own. "Well...uhm...what's with that face?"

"Yukina Kou?"

"Eh...how'd you know my name?"

The darkhaired man had this look as if he was confused himself at first. There were so many things that passed on his face. His face looked like a storm of emotions all in one second. And then he turned around. Again. Leaving without a word.

"Oi! Wait!" Yukina called. "What-"

"Don't follow me. Don't come near me...Don't talk to me!"

"Eh?" Yukina furrowed his brows. "You are the one who came in here first. It's not like I am following you around. What's with that attitude of yours?"

The strange guy just shut the door at Yukina's face so strongly it echoed loudly in the hall. It for a moment stopped everything for a while, everyone wondering what happened too in that Room 6 which was always used by the 'prince of the art department'.

"What the hell's wrong with him..."


Both their first and second meetings ended up in a sour note. When the third time came, it appeared to be as equally not promising.

"Hello everyone, thank you for signing up with the pastel crash course. I am Tomokazu Shouji, your art instructor for this one-month course."

In front of the ten to fifteen group of second year art students stood a tall man with rough features. His body, his arms, his hands seem to have been built for boxing or wrestling than holding any of those art materials. He was a very big man with a very big smile. Contrary to these, the other guy standing beside him looked so small and bored everyone was wondering who it was.

"Ah...this uncute guy beside me is a very good friend of mine," Tomokazu Shouji exclaimed, patting the shorter guy with his huge hand on the shoulder. "Kisa Shouta...mind you guys...he'll be the assistant instructor but he's hell way better than I am! He's giving you your grades so don't tick him off if you don't want threes and fours or fives for a grade!"

Yukina Kou who was sitting at the farthest back with his best pal Jin dropped the pen he was playing with. His jaw almost reaching the ground from shock and confusion.

"He's...an assistant instructor?" he gritted. "That shrimp?"

"Seems like it..." Jin whispered back. "He's kind of young isn't he? Cool."

The introductions ended and the lesson proper started rolling. While everyone seemed to be focused on Tomokazu Shouji and the start and basics of pastel painting, Yukina Kou's eyes weren't at the LCD screen. They were at someone who was just staring out the window. Kisa Shouta looked very accomodating to the others, but for some reason, when it was his turn to talk earlier, Kisa suddenly got this very dim expression on his face.

As if he was being shut out already. Without him knowing why no less.

"For our course, I'll be requiring you for now to bring the following requirements I've listed," Tomokazu said with a loud voice. "Also...please bring extra grey pastel papers as our first project will start with a black and white theme...and uhm...Kisa..."

All eyes darted to the silent guy by the wall, who seemed to have drifted to somewhere far.

"Kisa...Oi."

"Uh-what?"

"Do you have anything to add?"

Kisa Shouta shrugged his shoulders and looked away.

"None."

"Tsk Tsk...think of your love life out of this lecture room," the beefy guy commented with a laugh before turning the LCD off. "We end it here...we'll start next meeting. Be sure to come on time with your tools alright?"

As one by one the students filled the exit, Yukina Kou remained sitted on his spot. He watched from afar, Tomokazu Shouji smile a patient smile at this Kisa Shouta before heading out of the lecture room himself. Silence ensued after the door closed behind the man.

"I didn't know you're an instructor," Yukina started as he gathered his things. "How old are you? Twenty-two? Twenty-three?"

The guy by the wall who still have his eyes out the window sighed. "Thirty."

"Huh-what?" Yukina blurted. "You're joking right?"

"What part of me looks like I'm joking?"

Somehow getting annoyed again why this man was being so hard to approach, Yukina sat at the edge of the table closest to Kisa. His eyes observant.

"Ne...have I done something to you? The other day you slammed the door close...instructor or not...I think that's not proper."

"Only talk to me about this course."

"Ne...why did you say Kiseina will never paint again? That isn't something someone like you should be spouting with no basis."

"You really don't shut up, do you?"

"Sensei..." Yukina Kou smiled playfully. The afternoon sunlight hitting his already well bestowed appearance. He would be totally sparkling that way, imaginary stars and flowers blooming everywhere. "We'll be seeing each other for a month...can you stop looking like you're staring at a dirt everytime you see me?"

Kisa Shouta's crossed arms fell on his sides. With one long and cold look at Yukina, he walked away.

"Save that annoying smirk on your face for picking up idiotic women. I don't like people like you."

Yukina haughtily raised his hand as if waiving a goodbye. "Well same here sensei..."

They say third was a charm? Well, for Yukina Kou, the whole crash course he was so looking forward to seemed like a curse. He never could please the assistant instructor no matter how hard and how much effort he puts into his projects. He would receive cold shoulders and cold stares while others were being treated nicely. It was really starting to get on his nerves.

"Just what do you really want to say in this?" Kisa Shouta would ask in the middle of the class. "Before you could express yourself 'freely', know the basics first."

"Do you really intend art as your profession? Or are you just here to pick on women and be popular?"

"You are not the only one with a part-time job here, so how come you're the only one who's always late?"

Yukina has reached the end of his rope.

"Tomokazu sensei is out on a consulatation project..." Kisa Shouta said in a loud voice one day, reaching until the back of the lecture hall. That was a cloudy weekday afternoon. As cloudy as Yukina's expression which was not getting any better. "So I'll be taking the class over for now. Last time..."

"Him again..."

It wasn't a particular good day for Yukina at all. Being chewed by Kisa Shouta, hearing ugly talks about him in his part-time jobs and getting told he wasn't really doing great as an artist. That wasn't even the final blow. The final blow was that rumor that Kiseina was retiring from the art world. It was the buzzing news spreading around like wildfire.

"That's not true at all..." Yukina thought to himself. "I've been following her works ever since...she's who inspired me to take art..."

"Yukina. Yukina Kou!"

When the man being called snapped back to reality, all eyes were already darted on him. The instructor in front was looking at him again. However, in those huge eyes was something different Yukina had never seen before.

"I've been calling you for so many times now," Kisa said, walking from the front up the the center aisle closer to Yukina Kou at the back. "Please pay attention."

"Huh?" Yukina looked up without moving. Just his eyes that were normally gentle and accomodating moved that way, replaced with a shade of pent up annoyance, he straightly glared.

"Is something wrong?" Kisa further urged.

Yukina smirked. "Your way of talking today is really weird sensei."

"Huh?"

"What's this full of concern tone in your voice? It really gives me the creeps."

"W-what is wrong with you?"

"There's nothing wrong with me. It's just even the class could see how you're always picking at me."

"I was just..."

Yukina rested his chin on his clasped hands, as if challenging the man before him. Everyone in the class had to swallow. It was the first time they've seen Yukina like this. And the first time they've seen Kisa Shouta who was normally calm and collected, look like he was at a loss.

"Not gonna say anything sensei?"

"Oi...Yukina..." Jin on Yukina's left side called in a hushed voice. "Stop that."

"Sensei...I am wondering...you keep on telling us all this theories and lessons about this crash course but you've never shown us any of your works. That doesn't sound very convincing...don't you think?"

By this time, the whole class had started whispering. A buzzing sound similar to a colony of bees exploded in that lecture hall. All eyes were now on Kisa Shouta, chilling questioning eyes with smiling hushed lips moving in a fast manner.

"You're not saying anything sensei?"

Kisa closed his fists and walked back to the front. He pressed something on the remote and a new slide appeared before the class. He looked as if he was intending to ignore the whole thing.

"As you can see...in this landscape...the shadowing was achieved by specifying where the light's coming from from here...and with the use of the tip of the white pastel...you glide it-"

"Sensei..." one of the students called. "We're just curious...since Yukina had already brought it up. Instead of using those slides, why don't you show it to us instead?"

"Ah...right right sensei!" a female student nodded in agreement. "Tomokazu-sensei does that for us to understand it better...can you please do it too?"

Kisa Shouta looked around the room with huge, unexplainable eyes. This was bullying. But he couldn't retort or say anything back because as an instructor, he should do what he teach. That really should be the case. But he could only grip the remote tightly in his sweating palm.

"That..." the small guy in front said in an unsure voice. "Uhm..."

From that point, somehow Yukina Kou could feel a little guilt knocking at his chest. But he shooed it right away, thinking that the man just got what he deserved for acting so high and mighty without even showing a proof of what he can do.

"Ne, sensei...Tomokazu-sensei even said you're better than him...we wanna see!"

Kisa Shouta bit his bottom lip as he glanced at the closed box of pastels on the table. Looking at them made him want to vomit. But he tried to reach out still in such an awfully slow manner.

Everyone watched the fine, yet shaking fingers take one stick out. That day was a lecture for combining colors for a perfect sunset. Yet what he was holding was clearly black.

"Sensei? That's black though...the base should start with orange, white and yellow right?"

The darkhaired man glanced back into the box. There were no labels of the color. He appeared to be fumbling his way into the colors he needed. Until the box tumbled over, the pastels falling and rolling, scattering on the floor.

Some of the students in front looked worried. One even stood to start picking the pastel one by one.

"No-no...I'll do it," Kisa said in a strangled voice as he went on his knees. "Go back to your seat..."

"But sense-"

"I said I'll do it!"

Silence. There was definitely weird in the way that assistant instructor was acting. He was always so composed and cool but there he was on the floor, shaking like a leaf while gathering the pastels scattered around.

Suddenly, the sliding doors opened. The lively, beefy Tomokazu entered with a pile of papers he was waiving in the air.

"Yoh minna! Missed me? The consultation took long and ah-" Tomokazu looked down at feeling like he stepped on something solid aside from the floor. A green pastel. His line of vision going farther, he saw then his close friend, Kisa Shouta kneeling on the floor, pale and shaking. "O-oi...Kisa?"

Tomokazu hastily walked over to his friend, picking him up like a weightless object.

"What's going on here?" he asked the class, his face having not the least bit of cheerfulness he always have.

Nobody answered aside from Kisa.

"It's nothing. They just wanted me to show them how to do the shading first hand...and my hand slipped and they fell..."

"You okay?" the official instructor asked, taking the box of pastels off of Kisa's hands.

Kisa only nodded.

"I'm sorry...I'm sorry..." Tomokazu repeatedly said as he escorted the still pale friend of his out of the room. He then turned at the class before reaching the door. "Class dismissed."

The moment the two instructors were out of sight, everyone in the lecture hall seemed to have released their breaths. They felt tension somehow. They felt that what they've done was overboard too. They just wanted to ride at what Yukina said for the fun of it. But seeing the assistant instructor's face and their always lively instructor give them a glare close to them being hit, they knew they've done something awful.

"What was that?" a female student whispered as she closed her notes. "Gave me a scare...Kisa-sensei was as white as paper..."

"I know...he looked like he was about to cry before Tomokazu-sensei arrived..."

When everyone was out and there was only Yukina and Jin in the room, Jin plopped back down on his chair.

"Just what was that Yukina? You've never been so disrespectful up to this extent."

"..."

"Sure you mentioned he irks you so much," Jin sighed. "Well...it's your fault if that sensei does not come back anymore."

"Shouldn't you try consoling me instead? I feel bad about how it ended too."

"Why would I? You're on the wrong here," Jin stood and grabbed his bag. "I'll go first."


A big hand carrying a coffee came in Kisa's field of vision. It was too close almost touching his nose. When Kisa moved back, he saw Tomokazu' worried eyes. It looked comical on that really brutish face.

"Shouta...if you keep staring in the air like that...I'll bring you to the hospital bridal style!"

Kisa made a face, before smiling. Tomokazu had always called him by first name basis whenever they were alone. A sign of closeness and trust that they have for each other.

The raven took the cup and sipped at the coffee carefully. Tomokazu plopped down beside him.

"Shouji."

"Hmmm?"

"I found him."

"Who?"

"My letter-sender."

Tomokazu just nodded. But a sudden realization dawned on him and he stared hard at his friend.

"W-what?!" Tomokazu exclaimed, eyes bulging. "When? Where? How?"

Kisa gave a small smile. "Earlier this day. Before class. While checking the students' essays about their subject for the mini exhibit...something is stuck in one one of the folders."

"Hmmm...yeah you mentioned he studies here..." Tomokazu frowned a bit. "How odd..."

"What is?"

"Everything. You finally got to see him, not to mention he's one of our students. But you don't look as ecstatic as I was expecting."

"I see..."

"But well...this thing could actually happen in real life?" the man asked with exagerated expressions. "I mean...what are the odds really? That crazy letter-sender studying here and one of our students...It seems really fascinating."

"You think so...?"

"Yup. I have more or less an idea who it is. He's all Kiseina this and Kiseina that when he introduced himself...but I won't give special treatment to that punk. Though he turned out to be exactly like a 'prince', your weakness. It's really fascinating."

Kisa looked away.

"I think it's cruel..."

"Cruel?"

With a distant look in his dark eyes, Kisa darted his attention to the gloomy skies outside the windows.

"That him and him are one."

He took another sip not tasting the sugar. It seemed like Shouji forgot to and the coffee was pure black and bitter. But he kept on sipping, just like how he could only swallow all the bitterness coming to him.

One month ago, in a messy high-end apartment, the bed was with a lethargic man. Envelopes and letters were scattered like they were his blanket of comfort.

June 20, 2005,

My Father and I went to an art exhibit. I am not an art fan, although mangas are an exception. As I was dragging my feet alongside my father, I saw this painting of a single butterfly in the desert. It got me curious. Can butterflies exist in such a harsh environment? Before I knew it, I was angry and sad at the same time. Nothing has spoken to me so much like this. So starting from now on, I'll follow your footsteps! And somehow, in the far future, meet the person who gave me an inspiration. Kiseina-sensei, arigatou.

JulyStar


February 4, 2008

Kiseina-sensei, after all these years of sending you fanmails, I wonder if you ever really receive these. I doubt you'd reply. But I am just worried. I heard you were in a slump. Please sensei, fight on. I hope to grow soon and meet you in a few years time! Ganbatte.

JulyStar.


October 23, 2014

Kiseina-sensei. I was in your Yokohama exhibit the other day. As usual, you never fail to capture my attention. You've already reached this far at such a young age. When I am already worthy, I'd like to ask your opinion about my paintings.

JulyStar.

"Eh...Shouta...you're reading them again?"

A man, lifeless looking and frustrated rolled his eyes as he put all those letters back in a box. Letters that he specifically placed in a different box from the rest.

"Shouji, can you try knocking first?"

Tomokazu Shouji, the bulky close friend of Kisa Shouta, and the fan and loyal manager of 'KISEINA" placed a tray on top of a small table beside the bed. He shook his head in the process.

"I did. You were just too occupied. So? You never get tired of those love letters of yours, don't you?"

"Love letter? They're fan mails. Idiot."

"Oh really? From a guy who thinks you're a girl and for almost ten years already. Tell me, it's a fanmail, really."

"Don't be stupid."

"You always read those when you're in a slump. Please...it's scaring me. The Summer exhibit is just around the corner!"

Kisa Shouta smiled inwardly. He hasn't really asked for anything very, very selfish for such a long time. The man on the bed picked up the newest letter he received.

July 5, 2015

Sensei, how are you? I am now busy preparing for our school's exhibit. There are many things now that I know, and things that I still have to know. I've already realized that painting, with all those mediums will just keep on growing. I have to keep up.

Almost ten years has already passed sensei. This might sound very arrogant of me. But next week, July 12, Mitsuhashi University's hosting an art exhibit for charity.. My painting's one of them. Please, I'd be very happy if you can visit? And maybe...we can talk?

I'd be wearing a blackshirt with 'July' at the back. You don't have to force yourself if you can't. I'll just ready myself for that miracle.

JulyStar

Kisa Shouta, Kiseina, the labelled anonymous art genius grinned widely at his childhood friend. "Ne Shouji...I might just get out of this slump if you allow me to go to this university event."

"What?"

"Come on...I'll meet this 'love-letter sender'," Kisa said jokingly.

"Shouta...I can see your evil aura floating behind you. He'll cry if he learns you're no 'gorgeous young genius'."

"So what? I'll just go check if he's handsome or not."

"See!" Shouji pointed. "You're hunting again for princely guys! Seriously you never learn!"

Despite the warnings of Tomokazu Shouji, that July, Kisa Shouta decided to go.

Beautiful summer that was. It was in the air how early autumn was about to come forth. As he was in the bus, looking out the vast sea from the sky-way, they look like a prelude to something great. It couldn't be bad right? That letter-sender had been nothing but charming. He could see the sender growing up from just reading those letters. As if he knew him already to his core. He wondered if the almost ten years gap in their age would be a problem. After all, that stupid kid who was thinking he was a girl started sending messages since he was 11.

Kisa smiled to himself, almost giggling alone.

He was excited. Because true enough, during those times when he only received harsh comments from critics, that JulyStar, as corny and childish as it seemed, kept him hanging.

"JulyStar huh? Let's see how you've become..."

The reflection in Kisa's eyes was pure of expectations and suspense. Because Kisa, he knew himself, whether JulyStar was a fat guy, whether that letter-sender was an idiot-looking, sorry-faced dude, he's bound to get attracted to him.

It has been decided, that moment when he started looking forward to those fanmails for almost a decade.

But the very looked-forward to meeting never happened. Or it happened and got entangled in a severe mishap.

"Hey...isn't it dangerous?" Kisa heard a woman's worried voice as he was staring at the map he was holding. "He's walking very unsteadily I think he's drunk."

The only thing Kisa could see when he looked in front was 'Hatsuaki'. A term for 'Early Autumn'. Another term for 'July'. Black shirt with 'July'. His thoughts just went directly to 'JulyStar'.

That time, Kisa didn't even know where he got the speed. He just jumped off from the sidewalk and rushed to the pedestrian where a wobbly man was. He pushed the guy away. Kisa didn't get hit by the car, luckily. But he stumbled and hit his head on the pavement from a lost footing.

He didn't even see this guy he tried pulling away from death's grasp. He fell in a deep sleep himself.

The next day, the way he sees his world changed. Literally.

"Why?" Kisa whispered, looking so confused when he woke up. "Shouji...why? I don't understand..."

"Shouta..." Shouji started, not knowing if he understood it himself. "...they say it's cerebral achromatopsia..."

"What? What's that? Why is everything grey? Why...what's going on?"

Tomokazu Shouji tried to explain it because Kisa wouldn't have the specialist in the beginning. But still, Kisa Shouta was already rejecting every facts presented to him. The only sure thing was he'd been deprived of his ability to discern color. The man couldn't even grope for words to describe much depth he's fallen into.

The guy that was saved wanted to extend his apologies. The guy who did the saving was angry at everything, not wanting himself to be exposed, not wanting to see the guy who caused his downfall.

And thus they remained strangers.

"I don't want this...Shouji...I don't want this!"

A painter who can't see colors. It was like being able to speak without being able to read.

"I vowed I'd hate him for these eyes..." Kisa whispered with the most bitter smile Shouji had seen. "I hated him the moment he said his name. Yet, when I realized who he was other than being the guy who caused me this eyes, the hatred vanished and I even felt relief. It's so stupid."

"Shouta?"

The raven's hold of his cup tightened as he started bowing his head.

"I heard inside me this 'Ah...I'm glad I was able to save him. My eyes don't matter'. What the fuck was that? It's so stupid..."

Shouji had a perplexed expression. He wasn't sure if he was following along Kisa's mutterings.

"Ne, Shouta...I am not sure where you're going at..."

"Shouji...the accident last month...the guy I hated that even uttering his name makes me furious..."

"Yeah? You wouldn't even tell me his name that time. If you had I would've searched for him and given him a punch or two myself."

"They're one and the same..."

"Huh?"

"The letter-sender and that guy, they're one person..."

Instantly, Shouji had pieced it together. His energy seemed to have been sapped off by something.

"Shit..."

Kisa giggled humorlessly. "I lost something important but I couldn't find the hate I should feel...It's driving me nuts...I should be angry right? Yet I feel it vanished and instead I am relieved? What the..."

For a long while, the other guy seemed to be weighing things in his mind. He was angry himself about what happened to his friend. But he knew this was a different matter now altogether, that the letter-sender of ten years was involved.

So instead of trying to blame that person, Shouji went to a different direction.

"You know how my father died right?"

Kisa looked to his side, meeting gazes with his friend who was smiling at him.

"Why talk about him suddenly?"

"They were in a drive for their 30th year as husband and wife and got in an accident right?"

"..."

"My father threw himself at mom, trying to shield her and take more of the impact," Shouji looked calm and his voice steady, but his eyes were filled with a sad yet happy glint. "I am so proud of him as he was saying in his death bed that 'his feelings for mom is something which would make him exchange something important for him just to protect her'."

"..."

"He laughingly said his body just moved on its own. But that he doesn't regret anything if mom is okay."

"Shouji...what..."

"This cerebral achromatopsia is something that we should just learn to accept..."

"..."

"Shouta...you know it better than I do. What you feel for that letter-sender is probably something the same as my father's."

"..."

"Your feeling relieved instead of anger means only one thing," Shouji patted Kisa on the shoulder with an understanding smile. "You're always playing around. I have to work hard to conceal that Kiseina is such an idiot with a unique taste...But instead of getting angry too that you've become like this, I feel different. It's not yet the end...'Coz this time, for real...without knowing him personally..."

Shouta seemed to have stopped breathing. He only stared as he was told the obvious.

"...You've been in love with the letter sender all these years..."


The next day from that lecture incident, what Jin said came true. Kisa Shouta, the assistant instructor never showed again. To add to the already deep injury, when the class asked if they could see the man to apologize, Tomokazu Shouji said that Kisa Shouta decided not to come for a different reason.

"Alright...for today's class...we will discuss about Pointillism," Tomokazu said as normally as it could get. As if nothing was amiss in that lecture hall. Everyone was used to having the lively teacher in front and the rather reserved one standing on the side. Kisa Shouta balanced everything. But now that he's gone, most of the students couldn't help but glance once in a while at the spot where the man always stood.

"This technique is done by painting using dots. In other words, you connect the scenery or whatever subject you have by dotting...I'm sure it's going to be easy for you guys..."

The lecture was still going on, but Yukina Kou couldn't even hear a thing that was being said. He was busy searching for something. He'd been looking for it since three days ago. Jin was starting to get distracted by Yukina's restlessness.

"Yukina...we're in the middle of the class."

The dark-blonde looked up with a crease on his forehead.

"I can't find it."

"Find what?" Jin asked without removing his eyes to the front and just talked through gritted teeth.

"The mail...I couldn't find it at home and in my locker..."

Jin raised a brow. "The fan mail to Kiseina again, seriously? Look for it later. You might have just stuck it in one of your books."

Yukina sighed as he gave up turning his bag inside out and making a mess of his under table.

While everyone was tasked to watch a short film, Tomokazu told the students to come see him at the back of the room so he could give back their folders containing their essays.

Yukina must have really been out of his rhythm for he didn't answer the first call on his name. It was a female student who told him that it was his turn to receive his essay back and hear a few of suggestions from the instructor.

Moving slowly, like he was dragging his feet, Yukina went at the back. The room was quite dim from the short film going in front. When the two met-up, Tomokazu sitting, Yukina standing, there was a long silence that occured before one opened their mouth.

"I like your concept Yukina," Tomokazu commended, handing the peach-colored folder to the other man. "It reminds me of Kiseina's first ever oil painting. The 'desert butterfly', right?"

Yukina who had no expressions earlier suddenly seemed like he woke up from a boring dream.

"Sensei...you know her?"

"Her?" Tomokazu crossed his arms. "Well...Kiseina's a popular figure. Of course I know."

"Sou..."

Tomokazu suddenly stood, hands inside the pocket of his jeans. "So you're a big fan of Kiseina huh? 'JulyStar' is it?"

"Eh?!" Yukina was taken aback. "How'd..."

"There's a fan-mail stuck in the pages of your essay you submitted to Kisa the last time. What was that again..." Tomokazu's eyes seemed like glowing in the dark. Dangerous and something serious which none of the students have seen. "'Kiseina-sensei, the rumor of you retiring is not true right?' something like that. 'Please, I may sound desperate and annoying, but you're my inspiration' something like that. What a passionate guy you are. You sound like a guy begging not to be left by his lover."

Yukina's face grew stern. "Sensei...this might be stupid to you. But I've been...following her all this time...don't make fun of this...I'm very worried about her..."

Tomokazu looked at the front where the film was still going on. And then he sighed. "I'm not making fun of you."

"..."

"But that Kiseina...it's true that the artist you're worshiping is retiring."

"...?" Yukina smiled. "That's...how can you say that..."

Tomokazu looked back at Yukina who seemed to have been swallowed by the shadows.

"Because I am Kiseina's friend."

"...?"

"...and manager. All this time, I was the one delivering the fanmails of this certain 'JulyStar'. You've really grown so much huh. Maa...it has been ten years no surprise about that."

"Wait...what? You're...you're kidding right?"

"Why would I?"

"..."

"...w-why?" Yukina whispered.

With the young man's tone, Tomokazu clearly understood what that 'why' was.

"Cerebral achromatopsia."

"Huh? Wha-"

"Sagara Takumi, next!" Tomokazu shouted, finally dismissing Yukina Kou. Indirectly saying that their talk was already over.


As the shadows of the university building started getting larger, as one by one the lamp posts started flickering lighting the streets, and as students readied themselves to their way home, Yukina Kou remained in the confinement of his favorite room. Room 6, the place he could work at his best. But that time, he was just sitting on the floor, eyes vacantly staring at the open windows.

"Retiring huh...?" Yukina looked at his hand holding his fan-mail before looking back at the darkening sky. It wasn't even the only reason why he was so disturbed. Kisa Shouta. That guy wouldn't just top popping in his mind, pricking at his conscience nonstop. "Nobody would say it at my face aside from Jin...but I can feel it at my skin that they're thinking it's me why he quit."

The second year art student smirked. "It's just a simple challenge and he can't even handle that? How much of a weakling is he?"

He said so. But the haughty smile faded slowly on his face. He irritably stood, grabbed his bag and headed out himself. He decided to buy new supplies. He needed to be even busier. Because if he didn't, he'd just keep on remembering that ashen face and shaking fingers picking up the fallen pastels as if some blind.


"Ingres paper, check. Fixative check," Yukina said as he mentally checked the supplies he needed. "Ah...I almost forgot...I need a bigger box for my art exhibit tickets...they'd go to waste after collecting so many if I just keep them in the drawers..."

Walking in the aisle of a vast art supply store could be one of the very simple yet rewarding activities for any art enthusiast. The strong scent of paint, the mingling smell of paper and wood was like an addicting solvent. One couldn't just help but inhale and savor it.

Many other art students would be there at this time to buy their own supplies. Even so, the place was quiet. Perhaps because people in there respect this sanctuary.

Yukina kept on walking without thinking much. He looked at the huge sign ahead, the assorted boxes were at the back together with the easels. He hasn't turned yet when he heard a conversation coming from a child and a familiar voice.

"Nii-chan...please?"

"Ah...it's at the top most?"

"Please? Get it for me?"

Yukina then stopped at the side. He looked at the kid who looked probably not older by six, and the raven looking up at the artsy and statement boxes at the upper shelves.

"..." for a moment, Yukina was caught off-guard. He'd never expected he'd see the root of his distress so soon. "Kisa-san..."

"My sister's birthday is tomorrow, but I've only saved up this much. That star shaped box covered in red glitters would look good in her room..." the kid pleaded. "...I can't reach it and when I asked the store guy, he looked mean..."

Kisa Shouta's profile looked worried but he smiled in the end. He walked to the ladder and reached for the box.

"Nii-chan...not that! The red one!"

"Eh?" Kisa looked down to the kid. "Isn't this what you're pointing at?"

"Nii-chan! It's blue! I need the red!"

"Huh...that's weird...I thought you wanted blue..." Kisa said stammeringly and reached for the box next to it.

"Nii-chan...that's green..." the kid announced, walking a little closer to the shelves. "Nii-chan are you okay? The red box is just right in front of you..."

Kisa just stared at the boxes 'right in front' of him. There were too many star-shaped boxes there.

And as the man on the ladder was contemplating what the touch next, he saw a pair of hands instead. Hands that were reaching out to the box a little bit on the left. His eyes moved from the huge hands to its owner. And he almost lost his balance and hurriedly went down.

"This is what you need right?" Yukina asked while handing the box to the child. "You're such a sweet brother, aren't you?"

"Eh..." the kid was starstrucked. "A-arigatou...Ou-sama..."

Yukina smiled understandably. It was a kid, there was no helping it. But really, Yukina wasn't really into being called a prince or anything like that.

Once the kid had said his 'thank yous' even to Kisa who wasn't much of help, Yukina turned to the raven. They stood at that part of the store quietly for a long time.

"J-jaa..."

"Wait..." Yukina called. "Can we talk?"

Kisa's expression was clearly saying 'no'.

"Just for a bit," Yukina added.

"Alright..."


Walking side by side on a quiet neighborhood like this was something Yukina never had thought of. This melodramatic scenery of the early night, a chilly air unusual for summer, and the sound of some people passing on them on a bike looked awkward. The wheels of the bicycles and the sound of their gears produced this quiet running sound that was calming.

"About what happened in the lecture hall..." Yukina started while keeping his gaze ahead. "I'm really sorry."

"..."

"I was just really in a bad mood...it just piled up one after another and before I could stop myself...I directed everything at you."

"Were you bothered by that all this time?"

Yukina glanced to the man beside him as if he just heard the most ridiculous thing. "Do you think I have a heart made of charcoal? I am not that mean Kisa-san! Of course I'd be bothered. Plus you suddenly quit being the assistant instructor..."

Kisa smiled. Such a huge difference on that always blank face.

"Don't worry, I've already let what happened pass...besides, it's not because of what happened that I am quitting."

"Then why?" the tall man urged. "Many of my lecture mates are actually fond of you...Kisa-san..."

"Though that makes me happy...I have already made up my mind."

Yukina suddenly stopped walking.

"As I thought...it's because of that incident..."

Kisa sighed. "I told you it's not. I am quitting because I just want to have a vacation."

"Vacation?"

"Yup..." Kisa looked away, starting to take slow steps forward. "A change of pace and scenery...that's all."

"You're not very convincing at all..."

They continued walking. Without direction. Without a path in mind. The silence, the calm. It felt like they've been doing this for a long while already.

"Ne...Kisa-san...can I ask you something?"

"Hm?"

"I know it's very outright...but...you know Kiseina right?"

"Eh?!"

Yukina raised a hand at his nape, looking embarrassed. "Well...Tomokazu-sensei said he's a friend of Kiseina-sensei. If he's a friend of hers...perhaps...you...?"

Kisa's face, even in the dark, obviously looked uncertain. The profile of his small face looked sad in an instant. "Well...you could say that."

Yukina was already expecting this. But he was not the least bit not surprised. It rendered him motionless on the side of the streets.

"Yukina?"

"T-then...perhaps you've read my letter? Tomokazu-sensei said you found it in my essay folder..."

"Sorry...I didn't mean to read it..."

"Argh..." Yukina ruffled his hair exasperatedly. "It's kind of uncool for a grown man to send fan-mails right?"

"..."

"But..." softly laughing, Yukina straightly looked at the guy worriedly looking at him. "I am just really so into her...I can't help it."

"..."

"And now this rumor about her quitting without a given reason is having me crazy worried about her...even though I am not even sure if she reads my fan-mails...she must find me creepy..."

"Don't worry."

"Eh?"

Kisa patted Yukina on the shoulder once. Such a smile he showed, one that was really so genuine one just couldn't help but gaze at it.

"Kiseina is always happy to receive those fan-mails from 'JulyStar'. She would always read them when she's in a slump. She's really happy to have a supporter like you."

"How..."

"Ah...because I would always be with Tomokazu when he delivers the fan-mails and letters to her," the shorter guy looked up, as if looking for the words to say from the sky. "I bet she's worried about you too...now that the rumor of her quitting is spreading around. She can't help it. She had to."

Yukina laughed. "Kisa-san...I don't think she'd be that worried about a no one like me. I invited her to an exhibit last month but she didn't come...ah...but that was when I got into an accident too...I guess we're never meant to meet."

"She was there."

"...?"

"She was there...looking for that 'Hatsuaki'."

The moment Yukina opened his mouth to say something more, he was stopped by the lively ringtone of Kisa's phone. The latter fished for his phone and answered it right away.

"Ah...Shouji...okay. I'll be on my way."

"Shouji...Tomokazu-sensei?"

After Kisa answered the phone, he had this apologetic look on his face.

"Sorry, Yukina I have to go. Shou-Tomokazu's waiting for me at the school's parking lot."

"Huh? You go home together?"

"Maa...we live together so it's better on riding in his car, right?"

"..."

Kisa started going to the different direction. Not long though, he looked back at the stupefied Yukina still standing like a statue while looking at his direction.

"Thank you, Yukina."

"W-what for...?"

Kisa just waived with a smile. Like a farewell. Like a goodbye. Like a 'last meeting'.

And the next thing, Kisa was gone in a curve.

Yukina thought this unexplainable worry and feeling of a loss mixed together. Before he could even muster a word or take a step, Kisa was no longer there. Leaving Yukina confused as he stared at the empty streets that the two of them just took together.


He threw his keys to the sofa. The art materials he just bought earlier that night was resting on the center table. His bag, he left it on the floor.

Suddenly, the summer heat seemed to have been focused all on him. His room was hot. His chest was hot. That conversation with that Kisa Shouta made him uncomfortable. What has bothered him was his heart. It was very unevenly beating since he and Kisa parted ways. As if it was warning him of something, an instinct that he couldn't still grasp.

He was parched so he right away headed to his small fridge to get a bottle of water. He drank it in huge gulps that his throat seemed about to burst.

"Cerebral achromatopsia."

Yukina lowered the water bottle pondering those alien words. Tomokazu-sensei had told him. Kiseina was quitting because of that.

"Cerebral...Cerebral achromatopsia?" Yukina whispered to himself as he threw the bottle to the bin. It was a three-pointer. "Cerebral achromatopsia..."

The man hasn't even changed into much comfortable clothes. He hurriedly went to his room and turned open his laptop. The hibernating device instantly woke up and the screen lighted. Not wasting any second, the man typed the foreign words.

The loading time wasn't long. Actually the results came in a flash. But somehow, he was afraid to know what it really meant.

What if it was a fatal condition? What if Kiseina was dying or something? These things were plaguing him.

"Stupid...you're her number one supporter..." Yukina scolded himself. "...you have to know to understand her better..."

His search engine was showing various results. He clicked the top most part and read it in utter, suspenceful silence.

"..."

The more he read, the more he was getting confused.

Achromatopsia (ACHM) is a medical syndrome that exhibits symptoms relating to at least five separate individual disorders. Although the term may refer to acquired disorders such as cerebral achromatopsia also known as color agnosia, it typically refers to an autosomal recessive congenital color vision disorder, the inability to perceive color and to achieve satisfactory visual acuity at high light levels (typically exterior daylight). The syndrome is also present in an incomplete form which is more properly defined as dyschromatopsia. The only estimate of its relative occurrence of 1:33,000 in the general population dates from the 1960s or earlier.*

"..."

Achromatopsia is the complete lack of the perception of color in a subject, seeing only in black, white, and shades of grey.*

Yukina had already pushed himself far too close to the screen of his laptop that his own eyes were starting to hurt.

Cerebral achromatopsia is a form of acquired color blindness that is caused by damage to the cerebral cortex of the brain, rather than abnormalities in the cells of the eye's retina. It is most frequently caused by physical trauma, hemorrhage or tumor tissue growth.*

"..."

The last thing made the young man lost a deal of his strength. And it left him staring blankly into space.

There is generally no treatment to cure achromatopsia.*

"..."

The dog outside was barking loudly. It was a canine who had a habit of barking exactly at ten in the evening for some reason. That was why Yukina knew, without looking to time, that he'd been struck down on his chair with no energy to spare for two hours already.

It's been so long since Yukina had been in that state. Just sitting. Just staring without seeing anything. Head blank. The screen of his laptop had turned into black and Yukina was left in the darkness of his room with the words swirling within his mind.

He couldn't grasp it at all even though he clearly understood what the explanation meant. It meant just a little better from being completely blind. Nevertheless...equally devastating, equally horrifying, equally saddening.

"Kiseina..." Yukina whispered, burying his face on his hands. "No wonder...the last painting in the exhibit that looked angry and sad...it's because of this...and all I could think of was myself..."

He drew a deep breath.

"Dame da..." he gritted. "I feel like crying..."

Within him, he heard his lecture mates' mocking laughter. He was there together with them, leering at Kisa Shouta. This just popped out out of nowhere. That small pale face looking blankly into the pastel box. The black stick instead of orange or white.

Yukina lowered his hands and stared into them, remembering a few hours back.

"..."

"Nii-chan are you okay? The red box is just right in front of you..."

Kisa Shouta's unsettling form as he tried looking for a 'red' box which was just a few inches away from his face really looked unusual. But Yukina just passed it as Kisa playing a bit with the kid.

"..."

In the darkness of his room, he saw again that familiar white and stark clean walls and floor. He could again smell the scent of disinfectants swirling strongly in the air.

"Sensei? Why can't I meet them? I just want to thank them for going this far for me..."

"I'm sorry Yukina-san. The person who pushed you off the road is a very private person. He didn't want any information about him be exposed."

"But...I just want to thank him..."

"Yukina-san, I think it's best to let this matter just be as it is. I don't want to tell you this, but I guess you have to know so that you'd distance yourself."

"...Huh?"

"The person who pushed you off the road had been hospitalized. I heard it was a very bad fall. He's kind of angry at the moment. Don't trouble your savior anymore than this. Just be thankful and move on quietly."

Just like that, Yukina seemed to have been sucked in a kaleidoscope of the most recent events in his life. They just kept on passing and going before his eyes. Making his already numb brain work and piece everything one by one.

"Then...you better find someone else to worship Mr. Poetic Man. Kiseina...will never paint again."

The man stood unsteadily. His feet moving on its own.

"Yukina Kou...?"

His uncertain steps started getting steady with each move forward. And by the time he passed his door, he was already running down the steep steps out from his apartment.

"There's a fan-mail stuck in the pages of your essay you submitted to Kisa the last time."

The number he thought he'd never call, he dialed them. But all he could hear on the other line was the beeping sound that felt like would sound forever.

"Thank you, Yukina."

He ran fast. His phone stuck in his ears. The road devoid of a taxi he could summon.

"Shit...shit...damn it! Why aren't you answering?!"

He reached the bus station. But the last ride had already passed some minutes ago. Even the last ride on the train had been gone. Besides, he had no idea where to go.

Click.

A yawning sound came from the other line.

"Yes? Tomokazu here..."

Yukina stopped from moving. "S-sensei...?"

"Huh? This voice...Yukina?" another yawn. "Oi...I told you guys you can just call this number for emergency. I am not so free to listen to your love problems..."

The dark-blonde gulped, almost sliding down to his feet. "W-where is...Kisa-san?"

"..."

The person on the other line seemed to have turned off the phone.

"S-sensei? Sensei?"

"You...the sound of your voice...have you found out something?"

Yukina looked ahead. There was nothing to see but an empty road and the starless sky.

"I want to talk to him sensei..."

"Sorry. He's not here."

The man alone in the streets started pacing around. "Huh? Please sensei, don't lie to me...he went home with you right?"

"That's true he rode in my car. But I dropped him at the airport."

"Where did he go? Give me his address! Sensei!"

"Calm down!"

"Sensei...I need to see him...please..."

"Yukina. Let me ask you one thing."

"..."

"Why chase after him?"

"..."

Yukina found himself not being able to answer. There he was panicking. But he didn't know exactly why.

"So you now know he's Kiseina. So you know now he got that condition because of trying to save you. So you'd apologize to him? Then what?"

"Uhm...I..."

"Yukina, open your eyes. Kiseina is not the person you think he is. He's a man," Tomokazu said, sounding so serious and stern. "'JulyStar' fell in love with the 'woman' Kiseina in his mind. Don't make things complicated. If you are worrying about him and the accident, he's already forgiven you."

"But..."

"I am sure the bond you created with all those ten years of sending fan letters isn't a small thing," the man added, a sound of a window being opened could be heard. "But that's all there is to it. You as a fan. Him as a retiring artist."

"..."

"If you understand that, let it end here."

The young man on the streets gathered himself up. Looking towards his dirty sneakers, his hair hidden in a million shades of shadows and emotions, he started smiling.

"Please, help me."

"Huh? Have you been listening to what I have been saying?" the man on the other line hissed.

Yukina brushed the hair strands off his face backwards with a slow sigh. His eyes had this settled look on them.

"Sensei... I must be blind."


Tomokazu Shouji pushed open the sliding doors carrying a huge box. He was sweating probably from the heat outside. He wasn't expecting what he saw in the middle of the large workroom that early morning.

"Ooh...Shouta...it's been a while since I've ever seen you priming your canvas..."

Kisa Shouta, standing before his still empty canvas glanced behind him with bright eyes.

"I know right? I feel like...I don't care whether I see colors or not...this is what I do..."

"That's the spirit!"

The other man walked to the side and placed the box on a low cabinet the color of olive. Kisa on the other hand went back to priming his canvas.

"But...are you okay with this Shouta?"

"Hmmm?"

"I told your JulyStar that you went somewhere far and unreachable."

Shouta's hand stopped moving. His back was small and frail but that same back always tried to shoulder everything alone. He was actually a strong person. But he was also pitiful that way.

"It's okay. It would do him good if his image of Kiseina will stay just that talented woman inspiring him to move forward."

Tomokazu crossed his arms. He knew his friend too well that it was hard to look at.

"Are you sure? You finally got to see him in flesh..."

Kisa sighed. "I like him a lot. That's true. But this like is something he's probably not accustomed to. Being his inspiration is enough..."

"You're such a masochist sometimes..." Tomokazu commented as he shook his head. He then glanced at the boxes and picked a few letters and cards. "By the way...you got new fan-mails here. They're all worried."

"..."

"Idiot, I already removed JulyStar's messages because you told me to. You want to move forward already right?"

Kisa looked up with a smile. "T-thank you..."

"Jeez...this is all your plan so don't start crying now."

The artist took the extended letters and cards to him and read them one by one. He would murmur silent 'thank yous' and 'I will do my best' here and there while sniffing. Truly, he was gifted with awesome supporters.

"Dear Sensei,

Please let us start from the beginning. This time, not as an artist and a fan. I have been your fan for a long time. That will never change. But realizing all of the things you've done, and the little fights and small conversations we had made me realize something. I may be young. But I am not naive.

Sensei, forget JulyStar. Talk to me. See me as me.

Waiting for you outside of your house,

Yukina Kou"

With shaking hands, Kisa looked towards his busy friend at the corner. "Shouji..."

"What? I removed JulyStar's messages, didn't I? It said 'Yukina Kou'."

"You..."

"I didn't say anything," the beefy man added to defend himself. "...He pieced it together on his own!"

Kisa looked at the simple card he was holding. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He just ended up bowing his head feeling his chest about to burst.

"So? What are you going to do?"

The other man looked at his empty canvas.

"I don't know..."

"Tsk...tsk...seriously..." Tomokazu sighed and walked towards his friend. He held the man's shoulders from behind and gently pushed Kisa towards the window. "Look."

Kisa just stood by the window for a long while. He didn't even want to push to the side the heavy curtains blocking his view. He weighed everything in his mind. But his heart was protesting. So much so that he could feel the rush of his blood all around his veins in his ears.

With a delicate hand, Kisa grabbed the cream colored curtain. And slowly, dragged them to the side.

The room instantly became flooded with the morning sunlight. The summer sky was an illusionary ocean.

"..."

Slowly, from the second floor of his house, Kisa looked down.

On the dark asphalt of the pavement was something drawn in chalk.

They say that a panorama is a view in all directions, a constantly changing scene. But maybe, a panoramic thing could be something to be very simple. But was able to draw one's breath away. A surprise. A promise.

Yukina Kou was just silently looking up, his hands full of the dust of the chalk and the pavement. His hair was messy and he was sweating from the heat. But he just smiled so openly while watching the man by the window gaze down at his gift.

"..."

Tomokazu whistled beside Kisa. "What a flashy guy..."

Kisa blinked the hotness in his eyes away. He wanted more to see the entirety of what was on the pavement even if he couldn't see it in huge details.

The drawing on the pavement was exactly the same as his 'desert butterfly'. Only that the one Yukina made didn't have a single butterfly in it. There were many smaller ones. Flying in a single direction as if guiding the larger one to reaching up the skies.

"Kisa-san. Let me be your eyes."

Kisa didn't hear it. He just read it from the movements of Yukina's lips.

For a long time they stayed just like that. But Kisa pulled the curtains back down and disappeared in Yukina's sight. But since Yukina had no intention of going anywhere, he just stood there, staring at the house.

And the door opened.

And Kisa was there.

"K-kisa-san..."

"If you want to be my eyes...you can't go anywhere else...it's going to be difficult..."

Kisa Shouta meant many things. Literally and subjectively.

The guy though walking in the sunlight stopped right before Kisa and straightly looked into Kisa's eyes.

"I know. Even so...this is the best decision I've come up with."

"You're an idiot."

"Yes."

"Stupid...Saying those things to me...I am a guy. You're not inclined to this kind of things..."

Yukina held on to Kisa's hand gently at first. Slowly squeezing to let Kisa know this was reality.

"It doesn't matter."

Kisa bowed. He didn't want to be this so weak-looking in front of this overconfident guy. "It matters..."

"Kisa-san," Yukina slowly lifted Kisa's hand and placed it in the middle of his chest. "Please allow me this chance."

Kisa looked up. He drew a deep breath and expressed his many doubts in his eyes. But when Yukina reassuringly smiled, Kisa had no time to think of those doubts and worries.

The raven smiled back. He moved his hand on Yukina's chest as if writing something.

It was a silent yet clear 'yes'. An answer based solely on hope and gambling of the unknown.

Yukina, almost to tears of relief and happiness grabbed the other into a gentle hug. He smelt of the sunlight but most of all, care and passion.

"Thank you...thank you..."

Kisa patted Yukina on the arm as if calming a child. "It's me who should say that...you showed me something I wouldn't realize otherwise..."

A certain man stood on the hallway with crossed arms. He cleared his throat and frowned.

"Uhm...should I leave or should I get you guys a hotel room or something?" Tomokazu said. "Perhaps...you're forgetting you're in front of the door open for everyone to see...?"

Yukina and Kisa sheepishly smiled as they made a space between each other. Their hands were still clasped together though.


What Kisa realized that time was very simple.

There are certain colors in the world that aren't really colors. It's a phenomenon of human interconnection. And Kisa saw them while looking at Yukina.

If he was asked right then and there what color is friendship? It would be Tomokazu Shouji.

If he was asked what color loyalty is? It would be his supporters always encouraging him.

And if he was asked what color is promise? What color is acceptance? What color is affection?

It would yield only one answer.

'Yukina Kou'.


end


Chapter end notes:

it's been a while since i wrote anything since last January. i've been having so many things to think about. haha...but yey...for me this is something 'light'! hahaha XD

anyway...i've missed writing about this couple so i went with them this time. i was actually researching about something. i was curious if dogs really see only black and white. i heard bulls are the same. so i searched some things and i then learned that there are certain extent of colorblindness and this cerebral achromatopsia is like one of the extreme cases.

thank you for reading and please share your thoughts!

-shuusetsu

*****info about cerebral acromatopsia****from Wikipedia.