Outside, heat sweltered against the Pachanga, coolness wafted around the interior. The owner mage slumped on the stool's round edge. Elbows propped on the counter-top, a coffee mug- the contents bitterly cold- lightly balanced between warm hands. Longing, black eyes clouded with deep thought…his blank gaze penetrating the shelving against the far wall. Formless words, thoughts, feelings and emotions swirling and colliding inside. Quiet footsteps shuffled onto the tile floor from the inner patio door. The red head settled onto a stool beside him. Temporarily the youth gazed at the older man, waiting, anticipating in…

…Silence, the awkward pause.

"Talk to me."

The pain…his gentle whisper evoked so much pain.

No reply.

Again, the youth probed, "Communicate with me. Tell me what's go-"

Interjection, thoughts abruptly take form.

"What if I told you lies? Would you believe me?" Black tresses shadowed black eyes.

No hesitation, "Masa, I trust you."

Masami's eyes droop, they close. He refuses to meet the other's gaze. There is no need, no desire to look him in the eyes.

"What if I'm not what you think I am?"

Smiley cocks his head to one side. His lover opens his eyes as a sigh escapes him. Slender hands reach for the other's broad shoulders; the eldest shies away.

"Masa, gomen-"

"Maybe it's an overstatement…or perhaps it's a flat out lie. I'm not sure which."

The red head grasps his lover's delicate wrist, "I told you, I trust you!"

"Those who believe lies are weak. Those who deny them are haughty. Either way, the disenchanted truth… no one is perfect- the bigot ideal."

"Stop being so harsh! Why should perfection or the lack there-of matter?"

Momentarily, Masami's face remains shadowed. Opening his eyes again, he gathers his feelings and emotions…

Hollow… the result is quiet, nothing. A disheartened smirk pecks his lips. Sliding off the stool, he settles his mug on the counter and faces his Smiley.

Quizzical brown eyes lock with somber black pools, and hope slowly shines through on a shy smile. The mages' face softens, and the bar tender's smile widens. In that instant, Masami looks down and away. Turning from his partner, he silently, gracefully, slowly flees the room. A deep frown deforms Smiley's features. He quickly follows after his love. Sunshine spills into the bar, inviting warmth across the threshold. The quiet man crosses that barrier, meeting the parallel pavement.

"Wait, please come back!"

Never turning around, the despaired mage continues… without looking back, even when he is out of sight.