Evidence (Hiroshi Takeba)

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Evidence (Hiroshi Takeba)
Date of Cutscene: 21 June 2017
Location: Takeba residence
Synopsis: Memories of magic don't usually last, without being altered to an acceptable form. Hiroshi Takeba is not as flexible as Kenji Tsukino, and does not have his heart. But there are other things he does have.
Cast of Characters: Kunzite, Mamoru Chiba, Hiroshi Takeba

He wakes from terrible dreams to the conviction that he is late; he was sick yesterday, terribly and blindingly so, but he can't remember going to the doctor, and that means he must not be late or ill today.

He is showered and dressed before his eyes fully focus. That's all right. He can live with that. There should be food in the kitchen ...

There is a bento box in the kitchen. It is empty, but it is still not one that he owns.

Beneath it, there are papers, in his own handwriting, that he does not remember having written.

It was real. The Osaka girl confirmed it after I left. The jewel houses his soul. When it is taken, his semblance moves apart from his body, as in the stories. The Osaka girl said "our gems." Perhaps that is why the others follow the boy.

She said that they are a community.

The drawing of the structure of the jewel is precise, angles remembered and reconstructed with tools Hiroshi hasn't touched since he was a teenager and is somewhat surprised to discover he still owns.

He chokes down breakfast in a hurry, and pulls his phone from the charger, and passes an unfamiliar pair of slippers on the way out the door. It's some time before he has the chance to read the messages waiting for him from late the day before.

TXT from Mamoru Chiba: I promised to let you know when he was back in one piece, and he is now. I hope that this text is not too much of an intrusion; I apologize for having made you so uncomfortable, and dearly hope that our acquaintance can be repaired. As I said the other day, you are invited to come back to see for yourself that he is all right, and indeed, the standing offer to visit is still in place.

(5m later) TXT from Mamoru Chiba: If you prefer, we can visit you instead -- or perhaps Naru would be willing to accompany Kazuo, if you would rather not see me again. I do not wish to, even indirectly, be the cause of you and your son coming to loggerheads when something like this is under discussion, or I would not be proposing a third party accompany him to visit his own father.

(10m later) TXT from Mamoru Chiba: If you are terribly uncomfortable with me contacting you like this, and do not wish to reply, you needn't, and I will stop. I am very, very sorry.

He is tempted to delete the messages. He does not.

No-one who sees Hiroshi Takeba that day at work has any doubt that he was genuinely ill the day before, or of why he did not stay as late as usual the day before that. He buries himself in his backlog with a will.

But late that night, on the way home, he has nothing else to think about.

He has not, by the time he sleeps, made up his mind about what to do. But when he goes to bed, the notes to himself are still left out, and an addition made to them reminding him to review the texts.

The dreams are no better that night. Or the next.