Author's Notes: Requested Kai/Irene fic, with cameos by Haji and Lulu. Set after the end of the series so beware the major spoilers!
When night fell and all around him slept, he let himself remember her.
It was not a sad memory, but merely wistful - or perhaps wishful. He could picture the bright gold of her hair, the sea green of her eyes, her gentle smile in the face of all the horrors she had lived. She had been everything he'd admired, everything he might have wanted had he been able to think past bloodied swords and red eyes. She'd lived with a sort of grace that could have haunted him if he hadn't had two, small, immortal children that wore Saya's face running him ragged. When he had tucked them in, though, and told them of the great adventures of their incredible aunt, he'd go sit out on the back steps and think of Irene. Those times were hers and hers alone.
I will remember you.
Sometimes Lulu would join him, appearing as silently as she would go, unhooded in the dark. Julia had told him that, despite everything they had learned, there was still no way to give Lulu a normal life span. At best, she might last until the end of the year, almost three more than her makeshift family had gotten. Kai dreaded the day he'd see the fine cracks of Thorn on Lulu's young face, but Lulu seemed to have come to terms with it far better than he had.
I've seen fireworks and "I Love Lucy" and the end of monsters," she'd told him simply. "Don't worry, I'll tell Irene everything. And Moses. And Karmen. We'll be remembered and so we can't forget."
It wasn't fair that for all her scant time on earth, Lulu had a better understanding of things than he did.
She was not there that night, however, no lingering darker-than-shadow shape by the door. There were only stars and moon and the stale taste of memories in his mouth. He did not regret but he did wonder, wonder how his life would have been could he have lived a lifetime in those too few days when he had known her. It was both nice and depressing to think about.
And on those quiet nights where it got more depressing than nice and his world of ghosts started to cave, he might see the silhouette of a man on the far street. A man tall and elegant from a different age, the large bulk of a cello case slung over his shoulder. It would be just for a moment, just a glimpse, but Kai would feel his spine straighten, his tension ease. He'd laugh shortly at himself afterwards and remember that there were some things that did not die - love and deeds, chevaliers and their queens. And then he'd smile up at the sky, young then as he could never be again.
Do you see me, Irene?
A star twinkled at him.
I still have a smile left because of what you taught me.
When night fell and all around him slept, he let himself remember her. Not sad but merely wishful.
And there were thousands of stars to choose from.