by Esrafil

"What did you imagine your future would be like when you were younger?"

Looking up from the text open before him, Tezuka turned his desk chair to face the speaker who lay on his bed. Ohtori had propped himself on one arm and was methodically tapping his pencil against a half-finished sketch, a slight frown tugging at his features. "Not quite like how it ended up. What makes you ask?"

"This." Gesturing as expansively as he could given his current position, Ohtori indicated the drawing. "It's supposed be an abstract expression of where I imagined myself to be now, ten years ago. I can come up with concrete representations better, since at that time I wanted to be a wandering minstrel."

Without any visible change of expression, he regarded Ohtori with amusement. "I hope you are not disappointed that that has not come to pass."

Ohtori rolled onto one side so that they were facing each other, a warm smile melting away any traces of frustration over the illustration. "I can't say that I am. I'm rather pleased with the way things are right now."

Gray eyes softened and the corners of his lips curved unconsciously in return. A slip in the usual stoicism that spoke more of his affection than any overt displays ever could. Deciding that there was too much space between them, he joined Ohtori on the bed, fingers brushing against the back of Ohtori's hand. "As am I," he said softly. There was a moment of shared silence before he continued, stating fact as it were, "It speaks well for where we will be ten years from now."

"Yes, it does." Ohtori paused for a beat before adding, tone light though there was seriousness underlying the words. "As long as I can find my way back to you. Come what may, I can withstand it as long as I have my place to return to."

Squeezing Ohtori's hand gently he lifted it and placed it against his chest, the contact a warm, steady reassurance. This was real, this was constant. This was his certainty in a capricious and fluid existence. "You always will."

The End

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