Characters | Gallery | Worldbuilding | Guestbook | Donate | Links | Miscellanea


~Hikaru ✧ Chapter XIII~

༻The Twin Stars༺


     Why must it be this way?

     I lay against a tree, staring at the dark canopy above. In my hands I hold the necklace; not just the charm, but the entire thing. Although the night is warm, it feels frigid in my hand…but I can’t stand to wear it right now.

     I try focusing on other things, like the crisp, cleansing feeling of the breeze—but I can’t. No matter how hard I try, I can only think of the conversation.

     “There is something we need to talk about.”

     “But aren’t I the one who called you here?” replied Maiden Moon, hands on her hips, a haughty air clinging close.

     “Yes, but—why are you acting this way?”

     “And what way would that be?”

     “You’re constantly upset, or angry, or simply snide; not that we haven’t had troubles before, but now—”

     “You’re right. I am upset.”

     “…All right, then why?”

     “You need to leave her, Hikaru.”


     “Who else would I be referring to?”


     “She’s my closest friend. You know this. And besides, we haven’t even made it to Solzédniê yet. What am I to do? Just abandon her in the woods to starve?”

     “Then find her a place in Solzédniê!” she shouted, flinging a hand forth. “Surely there’s work there, she can fund that bakery of hers that way!”

     “You should know by now I’m not going to abandon her. So please, can we just—”

     “Have you forgotten?” she spat, “You’re my priest! The only one who’s entitled to your time is me!”

     “And you say that as though I don’t visit you every night lately,” I sighed, putting my hand towards my aching head. “I hardly even get sleep anymore to be with you. Clearly, I’m not going to abandon you.”

     “I don’t know that for certain…it’s not enough.”

     At last, I lost it.

     “Yeah, of course it’s not enough! When is it going to be enough? When I forsake everything in my life for you? When I screw you?”

     For a minute she just glared at me with wide, surprised eyes, like a deer caught at the end of a rifle—but soon, she contorted her face in pure fury, violet-tinged faced dyed in bright red

     “That was the fucking past and you know it!”

     “Then why do you keep acting like it’s the present? That ended years ago—just let it go!”

     “My…” she put her thin hand to her chin, “You say I’m so angry, but look at you. I’ve never seen you this way…it seems your fondness is a little deeper than you say.”

     “Whether it is or isn’t, that shouldn’t matter to you either way. That doesn’t affect our relationship. Your priest, your friend, I’ll be—but never a single thing more.”

     “Well, I suppose it doesn’t affect us…but I’m just trying to help you, Hikaru,” she said, and for a split second it seemed a dark grin appeared on her face, “Do you really wish to betray your dear—”

     “Shut. It.”

     She flinched back, looking as though she was about to spit more venom; but instead, her mouth remained closed, hands clutching into fists.

     I turned my head away; with one hand my hat was thrown on the ground. The other clasped the necklace.


     “I’m ending this. We can talk later…somêl amé, Maiden Moon.”

     And off the necklace went.

     I exhale deeply, yet still feel almost out of breath. I should be returning to Suzette, but mentally, I’m exhausted…

     Maiden Moon has always had a harsh personality, but still kind in the end; there’s a reason we got close at all…it wasn’t all simple convenience. But in these past few years, she’s become nearly insufferable. I don’t want to abandon her: I still love her, as my friend, and it is true that I am all she has…

     Well, this journey is just temporary. Suzette and I will split our ways soon enough, and everything can go back to normal. Maiden Moon will not have to worry any longer, as Suzette makes her own life far away from me…

     Thinking of that time, when Suzette and I say our final goodbyes; when no longer will I see her day by day, but only once or twice a season at best, living her dreams while I wander aimlessly as always—something within me shrivels. Something within yearns for these days to never end.

     Damn it, no, there’s no use in thinking like that. I’m here simply to help her, not for any illicit wishes that’d surely only benefit myself…

     All I truly want and need is to live in peace, is that too much to ask? I just need to—


     My eye shoots open, startled—but by the time I realize what is happening, Suzette already has her knees dug into the ground, her arms gripping me close.


     “…I was so worried about you,” she whispers, putting her face into my arm. “Why have you been away for so long?”

     “I just…became exhausted, is all,” I tell her. It’s not a lie. “Have I been gone that long?”

     “Dawn is rather near,” she says. I look up, and indeed notice the pitch black Sky between the leaves changing hue to a dark blue.

     “Pšyku vrémond, I had no idea…” I utter. “It’s been a rough night.”

     “It is all right…” she whispers, holding me tighter.

     Although I think better of it, I shuffle a little, freeing my arm from her grasp—and then pull her close, reciprocating her hug. For a few moments we stay there quietly, wrapped within each other…

     “Ah,” she says, pulling back, “Someone wished to see you.”

     I gaze past her, and soon see the tall, inhuman figure.

     “Oh, so you’ve met Chêne?”

     “Yes; for some reason they thought I was you…so they came to me instead.”

     I freeze.

     We look completely different, so the only way they’d confuse us is if—

     Dizziness quickly overtakes me, but I still can’t help but shake my head.


     “Sorry, my head still hurts from earlier. Anyways,” I gaze up towards Chêne, “There’s something I wanted to discuss with you.”

     “I had assumed,” they say, and delicately sit down on their knees. Even kneeling, they still tower over Suzette and I.

     “What is it you wish to speak of?”

     “Do you know the fae in this area?”

     “You should know the answer to that question,” they say.

     “Then, can you see what Solstice celebrations may be happening around here?” I ask, and Suzette swiftly gazes at me, wide-eyed.

     “…Solstice celebrations?”

     “I told you I would find a way we could celebrate it, didn’t I?”

     She gazes away from me, a small grin forming on her face.

     “I appreciate that deeply, but…” she looks up towards me again, that fleeting grin now a small frown. “Faerie feasts are said to be dangerous, are they not…?”

     “Not if you know what you’re doing,” I smile. “That is why I’ve asked Chêne to help us; if they want to, at least.”

     “I do not mind,” they say, “I currently have nothing in particular to attend to.”

     She pauses for a moment.

     “Well then, it shall surely be something…different!” Suzette chirps, voice becoming filled with life. “Celebrating the Solstice, with a group of faeries…well, I can surely say that is not one thing I ever anticipated doing. But—”

     She pauses once more.

     “Mâzjêr vrémond né, Hikaru,” she whispers, smiling brightly. “You truly do not know how much this means to me…”

     “It’s no problem.”

     Once more she hugs me, holding me close…it’s warmer than the Sun could ever hope to be.

     “Well…” I whisper, breaking free of her embrace, “Do you mind if we rest for a while? I haven’t slept all night.”

     “That would be nice; I am a bit tired as well,” she answers, “Yet, what of…” her voice trails off, as she looks towards Chêne.

     “I know your kind needs much rest,” they say. “I would enjoy some as well. It is fine.”

     “Then it is good for everyone,” Suzette comments with a smile, and moves a little further from me to lay down.

     “Sleep well, Hikaru…and Chêne.”

     “You too,” I say as I lay down.

     I shuffle slightly, seeing Suzette seemingly already falling asleep.

     “For some reason, they thought I was you…”

     Chêne can easily tell humans apart, even better than other humans; being such an ancient and powerful fae, they’re able to see one’s soul, the Star at the center of their being. While once a part of a whole, each one is different: its own specific aura and color, a character unmatched by any other Star…mostly.

     “For some reason, they thought I was you…”

     Her words haunt me as my consciousness fades.


     {“Hikaru!” Alex shouts, nearly busting down my door.

     “A-Alex?” I stutter, looking up from my spot on the bed. “I didn’t know you were coming today…”

     “Your mom said it was okay if I came in…is it okay?”

     “Yeah, yeah!” I say, patting beside me. “I don’t mind at all!”

     Abruptly he plops down, nearly making me fall forward onto the floor.

     “You’ll never believe what happened! So, my master took one of my paintings to the salon in the capital of our province, right?”

     “Yes, I remember you—”

     “And then, it actually sold! For a lot of money!”

     “Oh, that’s—”

     “And then—!” Alex goes on as I finally decide to stop interjecting, “I bought this!”

     He quickly reaches into his pocket, bringing out a small, brocaded pouch.

     “…What is it?”

     “Look,” he says reverently, and carefully opens the pouch, bringing out a tiny silver ring. Etched all around the edge are delicate sparkles and twinkles, with two larger Stars in the middle surrounded by swirls.

     “Are you proposing to Ines?”

     “N-No!” Alex says, face turning awfully red. “I just wanted to give her a gift, since we have been together so long now, and at last the opportunity arose…”

     “It’s very pretty, but…” my voice trails off a moment. “I think this is a wedding ring.”

     “What makes you say that?”

     “Alex…do you not know what Stars mean?”

     “They just symbolize love, right?”

     “You’re not wrong, but…” I sigh.

     “Well, if it’s about some myth, you know I don’t know much about religious things…”

     “I know, but…” I sigh, worried about what kind of message this will send…

     “Well,” he says, “What is it? Maybe it’s not so bad.”

     “So…you know what the Stars are, right?”

     “Aren’t they meant to be souls?”


     “So they symbolize love because you love their soul!”

     “Well…” I sigh, “It’s not quite like that…”

     “Then…what is it like?”

     “When Mère Terre created humans, she wanted to create a creature unlike any other…”

     “And the Stars were her and Père Ciel’s third child, right? But they were so fragile, they shattered not long after they were born…”

     “Indeed,” I say with a grin, happy that Alex has actually paid attention to some of my ramblings, in spite of it not being a topic he cares about.

     “Well,” I continue on, “Mère Terre didn’t just insert the Stars haphazardly. Père Ciel made a request to her, because he’d become fond of how the Stars lit up the Sky: every Star she took, she had to split in two, so she wouldn’t take too many. So everyone has another half, somewhere out there in the world; they say we’re always trying to find them, led together by a string of stardust…

     “It’s not necessarily romantic, I don’t think; in a lot of old stories, it’s usually family members tied together—but especially nowadays, a lot of people view it very romantically. Like an invisible bond between two lovers.”

     “Then…this is saying her and I are two halves, destined to be together?”


     “…Oh,” he looks down at the ring, a somewhat befuddled look on his face. “That…is a bit intense.

     “Well—!” Alex exclaims abruptly, tossing the ring back in the bag, “Maybe she won’t know what it means like I didn’t!”

     “I hope it goes well,” I say quietly, smiling…although I don’t feel very happy.

     I am happy for him, at least, but it’s hard not to be slightly sad as well; but, maybe I’m just jealous because I know I’ll always be alone…

     “I’ll tell you how it goes!” he says, hopping up. “See you then!”

     “You too,” I say, and he’s out the door just as quickly as he came in.

     The rest of my day I stay indoors, trying to practice drawing some more. Over and over again, I draw Alex—hopefully he doesn’t find it strange, but I don’t know many other people…

     As I draw him again and again, the pictures get a little more…off every time. I try to remember what he told me—“it’s stylized!” —but I can’t help but be disappointed. They’re cute enough, I guess: big circular eyes, little swirls trying to mimic his thick, curly hair, a bunch of dots trying to show his freckles. They’re fine…but still, I frown at the dozens of little images of him. I’m certainly nowhere near as talented as he is; which is fine, but…it’s a bit sad I can’t capture his beauty. It’s a bit of a cruel irony that he can draw someone as odd looking as myself nicely, but I can’t even draw a handsome person well…

     After a while, suddenly my door bursts open again.

     “Sâlêzj Alex!”

     Without a word, he roughly plants himself on my bed face first, making me fall back against the wall.

     “Ow—be careful!”

     “Yeah, yeah…” he says, words muffled in my sheets.

     “Are you all right?” I ask softly, putting my hand on his shoulder.

     “…No. It went like shit.”

     “What? What happened?”

     He turns his head towards me, still laying down. His eyes and nose are completely red…

     “I went to Ines’ house, and…before I could even tell her why I came, she said we’re over…”

     “Did she tell you why?”

     “No!” he shouts, shooting upwards. But he only sits on the floor, hunching down, throwing his face within his palms.

     “I don’t…get it, Hikaru…” he mumbles through sobs. “I feel like such a fool…but I know it’s all my fault…”

     “I’m sure it’s not your fault…” I whisper, reaching over and pulling him close to me. “There must be another reason.”

     “Then why won’t she tell me? Because she’s too nice to directly tell me I’m garbage, so she’ll do it discreetly? But it’s still obvious!”

     I sigh. As long as she doesn’t say why she’s leaving, I can’t tell him either way…so instead I move to the floor too and stay by his side, letting him cry it out. My heart stirs, I feel terrible for him; but, I must admit…it is nice, having him here like this…

     After some time he stops, but still sits still, silent. After a while, he lifts his head up again.

     “…Mâzjêr Hikaru, for not mocking me.”

     “Why would I do that?”

     “I’m pretty sure all my other friends would.”

     I don’t say anything…I don’t know what to say. What kind of friends would laugh at their friend’s pain? Are they really friends…?

     “It’s fine,” he says. “I…should probably stop bothering you. See you later, Hikaru.”

     “Um, you too,” I say softly, wanting to protest, but not really sure how to. I hope he’ll be okay…

     And so he quietly leaves, nearly as abruptly as he came.

     I sit there for a little while, utterly dumbfounded, looking at the little specks of dust on the floor as I try to gather my thoughts. I don’t get it…I guess I don’t understand people very much in general, but this is still absurdly odd anyways.

     Why would you shoo away your sweetheart like that? Ines never seemed like the friendliest person, when I met her, but she didn’t seem so…mean.

     As the day turns to night, I can’t help but keep thinking about it.


     The next day I find myself standing at the door of a large house high up on the hill, well kempt and brightly painted…quite different from my own. I have come here before once, but only with Alex.

     Slowly I go to knock on the door; but yet, just before touching, I stop. My chest thumps wildly to the point of pain, a shiver goes through my spine.

     I guess even with Alex around, I’m still not very good at talking to people…

     Even so, I finally pound the door before overthinking it again.

     Soon the door opens to—

     “Oh, jéyu bon, Hikaru.”

     Immediately, I start panicking even more.

     “S-Sâlêzj Ines, I…I wanted to talk to you.”

     “You may come right in,” she says softly, leading me into her home, fairly large and grand and tidy, but oddly empty. She leads me to a sofa in her large living room, and she sits on the other side in a leather chair. For a moment, we simply sit in a tense silence. Does she know why I’m here?

     “I’m assuming you wish to ask me about Alex, am I correct?”

     Ah, so she does know…

     “Yeah…” I say, looking at the high ceilings—trying to avoid her face.

     “Did he ask you to do this?”

     “No,” I answer, shaking my head. “He has no idea I’m here at all, I don’t think.”

     “Is that so…” her voice trails off, and I hear her sipping a drink.

     “Um…” I mutter again, now looking her way, “Can I—can I ask you why you left him?”

     “Why do you wish to know, if he didn’t ask you?”

     She stares at me seriously, sloshing the tea in her little teacup. Despite my best efforts, I quickly dart my eyes away again; the anxiety is just too much…

     “He’s become so depressed; you should see how he sobs…”

     “I’m sorry to hear that,” she sighs, “I do not wish to hurt him. But, despite the unpleasantness, this is better for both of us.”

     “Then, do you mind saying why?” I ask, growing slightly irritated. She keeps avoiding the answer.

     “I will tell you, and you may tell him if you so wish,” she answers, looking towards me again.

     “Alex is very friendly, sweet, a wonderful friend…but I am not anywhere near in love with him. I never have been.”

     “Then why did you—?”

     “Because I never believed I would ever have whom I truly love. In truth, I still don’t believe I will…but, even so—

     “It seems to me that there are others who love Alex much more than I ever can; wouldn’t it be cruel to keep him for myself in that circumstance? It seems so to me. I can’t do that. It is better for us to find our own ways. And staying too close may only make the pain worse for him.”

     “I see…”

     I become lost in thought, twirling my sash around my fingers.

     It makes sense. But, now I have other questions; maybe they’re better left unasked, but—

     “Erm, if it’s all right to ask…who is this person? That likes Alex so much?”

     “You…you don’t know?” she says, as though it should be incredibly obvious.

     “No? But, I guess you don’t have to say, it is a nosy question—”

     “I could be wrong…” she says, “But…you sincerely don’t know, then?”


     “Ah…I was certain it was you.”

     “Me?!” I exclaim, completely baffled, “Ines, you know I’m a boy, right?”

     “Well, obviously,” she replies. “And?”

     “Two men can’t be in love, that’s ludicrous…”

     “Says who?”

     “…Everyone?” I squint at her, utterly baffled…and a little disturbed. “Men can’t have children together, families—”

     “Do you think love is all about having children? And besides, not even all men and women who love each other may have children.”

     “But they’re—it’s still natural for them to love each other, even if there’s issues; two men, that’s just—that’s just degenerate…”

     “If you say so,” she says with a smirk, but she somehow doesn’t seem amused. She quietly takes another sip of her tea.

     I sit there in silence, gripping at my jacket, becoming a little nauseous. How could she accuse me of such a thing?

     “Why do you think I’m in love with him?” I ask quietly. Though I want to feel offended, angry…I think I’m more hurt.

     “I’ve witnessed the way you look at him,” she whispers. “How flushed your face grows, the way you smile in his presence, like everything in the world is okay… Look, you have even gone out of your way to speak to me, solely because you saw how sad Alex had grown.

     “It may indeed be a coincidence…only you can answer that. But, that’s merely my impression. At least, it’s strong enough I cannot go on with this regardless.”

     I look at her and press my mouth hard. I…have no idea what to say to any of that.

     “W-Well, thanks for telling me…” I stutter while getting up, wanting this whole awful affair to be done with. “I think I should go for now.”

     “Vwârdnie,” she says, going back to sipping her tea as I scramble out the door.

     “How utterly strange,” I whisper to myself as I leave her home, continuing on the cobblestone road. “How thoroughly ridiculous! How disgusting! Maybe it’s for the best she left Alex, her head is full of cotton!”

     I laugh to myself as I go along, trying to feel better about it all…but I don’t. What would make her think I’m “in love” with him?

     Yes, I do like spending time with him—but he’s very fun and kind, of course I want to be friends with someone like that. But that doesn’t mean I want to have a life with him; living together, seeing one another every single day, sleeping in the same bed perhaps… And he is handsome, but…that doesn’t mean I want to hold him, kiss him—he’s already pretty hairy, and even has a stubble; what if I’m like that when I’m older too? Imagine two old, hairy men kissing each other…ugh!

     But as I go along on my way home, on the empty afternoon streets, that’s…that’s all I can think about.

     My chest starts hurting horribly. No, that’s gross, that’s unnatural, that’s sinful; that’s not what we were made for. We were made to create, innovate…

     But, as I walk up to my house, to the familiar, worn-down door…all I can think about is how much I wish he was here.}


[Last] ✧ [Next]


Lovingly created by [James Margaret Rose].