by Tari Gwaemir
She had no regrets.
She had no regrets when he died. That evening, she folded up the letters he had written, in his thin, precise cursive on fine linen paper, and without any sentimentality, she smelled their faint cherry blossom scent for the last time and tucked them away in a private dimension. Maru and Moro brought her an unopened bottle of brandy, and she lounged on a rug next to a smoking censer, her eyes dark as she watched the magic of several worlds unravel into confusion and abruptly wind itself back into a new pattern, more intricate and elaborate than ever.
She twirled a lock of hair around her fingers and gave a low, short chuckle. "That man always knew how to clean up after himself."
The next morning, she wrapped herself tightly in her huge trenchcoat, and careless of the hem dragging on the cobblestones behind her, she wandered through the damp London streets, calling on the fortune-tellers of her acquaintance.
"Such a sad man," with a headshake.
Yuuko grinned, her teeth very white and sharp. "Indeed."
"And still so young!"
"Yes, if you measure age in years," she replied flippantly, and they changed the subject.
It started raining at noon, and she returned home, trailing puddles of water behind her. "Tea," she commanded and spent the afternoon studying the bottom of her cup.
The rain cleared by nightfall, and she stepped out onto the balcony and reluctantly looked up. She stood there for a while, hands on hips, her face unreadable as she gazed at the cloudless night sky. It was, of course, filled with stars. Finally, she snorted and walked back inside, slamming the door cheerfully behind her.
"So that's his plan, eh?" She surveyed the room before her, piled with trunks and mysterious locked boxes in precarious heaps. "Well, there's nothing to be done then. Maru! Moro!"
They tumbled into the room and looked at her expectantly.
"Get me a handkerchief," she said as she smiled.