Sometimes A Cigar ...

Summary: A eulogy of sorts.
Rating: PG
A/N: This started out as a humorfic for confraria, meant to be Zaizen humor. I don't know what happened along the way.
Dedication: Oh, hell. You know who you are.


It was just one of those things that came up, every once in a while. We'd be sitting around late at night, waiting for Amon to get out of a meeting, or Doujima to show up for a Hunt, and the topic would just pop up.

"So, do you think he actually smokes that thing? Or is it just for effect?" You could always trust Haruto to start conversations when he was bored (assuming his GameBoy wasn't working.)

"Why would you have a cigar and not smoke it?" Robin, the resident innocent. Yes, she really was raised in a nunnery. At this point, Haruto would start to snicker, and Miss Karasuma would have to step in and explain. She was the resident big sister, in those days.

"It might be a symbol. A power symbol."

"What do you mean?" Robin's forehead would wrinkle a little, her eyebrows draw together. Bemused -- yeah, that's the word.

"Some men like to ... reinforce their masculinity. With things like guns, or cigars, or sports cars. They feel more ... powerful, that way." Karasuma would be flushed, just a bit – these discussions always made her nervous.

"Powerful?"

"They're phallic symbols." Now Karasuma would be rubbing her temples, the way you do when you have a headache from eyestrain. I get them all the time, but I don't think that was why she looked so tired.

"Wha-? Oh." Evidently Robin's Hunter training included learning Latin, because she caught on right away. After that, her eyes would be glued to the floor.

"Well, it could be a prop. Maybe the Director secretly wants to be a mafioso." Yeah, that would be Sakaki. In between video games, he likes gangster movies. I once asked him how much of The Godfather he knew by heart. He looked at me a little funny, then asked "Which one?"

"Or," here he'd pause, and I would know that he was really getting into it, "he's really a Cuban exile. He fled Castro, and smokes them in memory of his homeland."

A snort from Miss Karasuma. Muffled, but distinctly a snort. "Perhaps he's imitating Hemingway. He might have a few elephants' heads tucked in there, along with the booze and an old typewriter."

Sakaki would really be getting into the game by now. "No, wait. He's a secret Marx Brothers fan. He watches A Night At The Opera at least once a week, and he has a drawer full of Groucho glasses. Maybe he dresses up and goes to conventions."

"He might have a Freud fixation. That would explain quite a bit." It would go on like that, just random conversation, trying to fill in the silence. Sometimes we'd talk for forty, forty-five minutes.

Well, anyway, we ran through that on a few occasions (though the second time and afterwards, we'd leave out the whole educating-Robin bit.) We never did reach a consensus, though.

Robin and Amon are gone, now, and the Chief never calls late-night meetings. Word is that Zaizen was killed in the Factory collapse. When Chief Kosaka moved into his office, the humidor and ashtray were tossed. The late-night cigar conversations were suddenly a thing of the past.

What's that phrase? It was on a commercial for some kind of candy, when I was a kid – something about how many clicks it took, to get to the center of a lollipop. Or something like that, it was a while ago.

Oh yeah. "The world may never know."