Yato brought his hand up to his face, inspecting it. There were no signs of aging; his hand seemed as young as it always had. He frowned.
Yukine scampered around their little room, searching for a pencil or some other writing tool he could use to complete the homework assigned to him by Hiyori. Lately, the shinki had been trying to increase the pace at which he was learning things; he’d call upon Hiyori to come teach him new things whenever he had time.
“Why do you wanna’ learn about everything so suddenly? None of this really matters in our world,” Yato grumbled, although he already knew the answer.
Yukine didn’t reply, instead rushing back to his notebook once he found a cheap red pen.
He remembered a few months ago when he broke windows at a school, shattering the glass, tears streaming down his face. Everything angered him; the way the students--children his age--could learn and play. The way they could meet their friends and trade games and challenge each other. The way they could live. It wasn’t fair. Why was he the one who had to die?
Eventually his friends were able to break him from his frightening demeanor; stopping him from doing any more damage. And Hiyori and Yato… they had been there for him. Hiyori had promised to be his teacher and give him her old textbooks and notes so that he could learn the same things that kids his age learned. Yato had taken him in and told him about little shinki tricks, and Yukine started to truly appreciate him and the strange fatherly position he filled.
The minor god sprawled on the floor, staring up at the ceiling, “At least tell me why you wanna’ learn more stuff faster?”
Yukine let out a huff as he turned to look at his companion, letting his pen drop onto the math homework he’d been putting so much effort into.
“I’ve decided that I want to know more than normal kids my age.”
Yato narrowed his eyes.
He knew his shinki; the blonde boy wasn’t driven by thoughts like that, at least anymore.
“And?” he uttered, raising one brow.
The younger male’s countenance turned a bit desperate suddenly, conveying a sort of sadness.
He didn’t want to tell Yato. Letting his reasons be spoken out loud made them feel more… official. He didn’t want that.
“And Hiyori’s going to leave for college at some point. She might forget us, so I want to spend as much time with her as I can.”
The words lingered in the air.
Yato closed his eyes.
The prospect of college had been haunting him as well. He didn’t really want her to go. Couldn’t she just stay here with him?
But she can’t.
The Hiyori he knew was kind and brave and motivated. She wanted to go to college and become a doctor, maybe even run her own hospital like her father did. And she would. He knew she could do it.
She would go to college, graduate top of the class, and get a job as a doctor. She would help so many people and do so many great things.
And then she would probably get married, settle down, and have a child. That possible part of her life was oddly torturous for Yato to think about.
He brought up his hand again, painfully aware of the lack of the effect of time on his skin. No wrinkles. No scars. No marks of any sorts to signify that he had in fact faced time at one point or another.
And yet it would go on without him.
His lovely half-phantom would continue with her life because of that undeniably human part of her.
Then she would grow old… and… and…
He couldn’t bring himself to finish the thought.
Yato clenched his fist.
Immortality was a blessing and a curse.
Hiyori drew circles in the water as her thoughts traveled. She often pondered things while she took warm baths. She twirled a brown lock of hair around her forefinger, contemplating her future.
The girl planned to go to college and become a doctor, that much she was sure of.
And then… She would get married and start a family.
She hugged her knees, watching the ripples the action caused.
What about Yato and Yukine?
She would stay friends with them, helping them out and keeping them company.
But what if I forget?
But she wouldn’t forget them, albeit it happened once before. But she wouldn’t let it happen again. She couldn’t.
If time was a tangible thing, Hiyori would lock it up and never let anyone take it from her. The memories she had of her two supernatural friends were pleasant and sweet, she wanted to continue to add to them everyday.
Yukine was like a little brother to her, she enjoyed seeing him happy and satisfied. If he wanted new shoes, she would buy them for him. If he wanted a new toy, consider it his.
He was… different. Certainly not like a brother. Moments with Yato held a different feeling altogether. He would stand close to her and her heart would nearly burst. He would sling his arm around her shoulders and all she knew was that her cheeks were burning. He would look at her with those radiant blue eyes and she would feel as if she were falling.
Hiyori dared not force herself to accept what that could mean.
Yato wasn’t the average boy; she couldn’t just come out to him about her feelings and ask him about his. He was a god. He had priorities and responsibilities. He was part of a world she had barely dipped her toes into.
So she hid her emotions when it came to him. She buried them deep, deep under and covered it up with feelings of friendship. That was the only way she could lose them: deny their existence.
And if that didn’t work, she might just allow herself to forget just a little, at least enough to erase her memory of what Yato made her feel.
But did she want to forget? Did she want to forget how his smile lit her up inside? How his laughter filled her joy?
No. No, she didn’t.