“I don’t ask for anything ever, but you gave me magic for some reason. Please let this be the reason. Please let this work. Don’t let him die,” he sobbed. Tears had started running down his face again as he pushed tendrils of magic into the wound willing it to heal.
“Please don’t let him die.” Only a few people were born with magical abilities in Yuru Tami each year and the number was dwindling. Rei had been one of three children recorded in his birth year. “Asha, you can’t die on me. I’ll never forgive myself if you die because you took my watch. I’m sorry that I made you angry last night. I’m sorry that we fought.”
Rei moved closer to Asha’s head so he could look at his face. He folded a loose piece of black hair behind his ear before running one finger down the bridge of his nose. “I traded my father’s ring for the wine. If you were awake right now you would be freaking out at me, but you’re not so just listen okay? You always tell me that I live in the past too much, that I think too much about what I’ve lost. So I finally took your advice. I want to live in the now, I want to focus on the present. I want to be with you,” Rei said, his voice trailing off into a whisper.
“You’re my present and my foreseeable future so you aren’t allowed to die on me.” He rested his forehead against Asha’s shoulder and took a few deep breaths to calm his nerves. He felt a hand slowly cover his with its warmth and he had to bite back the sob that formed in his throat. He raised his head and found that Asha was awake, a small smile on his face.
“You didn’t have to give that away,” Asha whispered. Rei found his water canteen that he kept by his bed and unscrewed the cap. He handed it to the other man and waited as he drained it.
“Better?” Rei asked.
“Much,” Asha replied. “Why did you trade your father’s ring?”
“Because I don’t need it anymore. You were right; I was too focused on what he had accomplished, on surpassing him. I don’t need to be better than him and I don’t need that ring. I just want to be happy,” Rei explained.
“That was all you had though,” Asha said. Rei smiled and patted his hand with his free one.
“That was all I brought. My mom still has plenty of his stuff. He’s dead and never coming back but you’re alive, you’re real. I don’t want to lose you to a ghost,” Rei said. Asha was smiling at him now, his face glowing with happiness. He reached out to stroke Rei’s cheek and the other man leaned in to give him a kiss. It was sweeter than the wine from the night before and made Rei want to sink into Asha’s arms and never leave.
“You aren’t going to lose me because I love you too much,” Asha whispered against his lips.