with a nod to Kiyakotari

“Can’t,” Auren Han said.

“Auren.”

Can’t get it in words.

“Auren.”

Han, on his back, clothes almost shed, light dappling him, closed his eyes, not sure why this guy just didn’t get it, didn’t get that that was enough, more than enough, more like too much.

“Auren.”

Something brushed against his closed eyelids. A flower petal, maybe.

“Auren.”

“Yeah,” Han said, finally.

“When you were little,” came the voice, absurdly, deliriously happy, “they called you Auren H.”

“Yes,” Han agreed softly.

“You were smart. You were the smartest one. You had bangs and you had glasses and you collected stamps and you showed me the square root of 2. You were Auren H. Auren,” something finally, finally bubbling up in that voice, “do you remember me?”

For god’s sake, god’s sake, to have to answer, Yes, I remember you, as a matter of fact you are what I remember, you are all I remember, now.

To drop the blinds, kill the light, and turn over flat on his side in his bed, empty.

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