Actions

Work Header

Akashi Seijuro | Checkmate

Work Text:

 

"I don't hate you. I'm just disappointed you turned into everything you said you'd never be."

. . .

People used to look down on you, never really noticing that you were someone worth respecting. It wasn't your fault, but your surname's fault. You always knew that being born into that family was the biggest mistake. Nevertheless, you worked hard not because you wanted to be noticed, but just to tell them that you weren't a piece of trash anyone can just trample on. 

Despite the insults aimed your way, you maintained your cool. You didn't stoop down to their level because, hey, they didn't know who you really are. That you were someone more than 'just what your surname is', that it doesn't define you.

You were one of those students who aced in tests, and got high enough remarks in every subject. 

You were also someone who, in the field of sports, is actually considered good. But you also had your own flaws–one of them being your laziness. You were too lazy to focus on one sport and decided that as long as you don't get a failing mark because of that subject, then you're fine. 

Friends? You rarely had them, because most of the people who approach you were just looking for your weaknesses, so they can have something to gossip about the next day. So, you usually just sat alone and ate in silence, watching everyone from a certain point in the room. 

There was this very outstanding student, and his name was Akashi Seijuro. He was someone close to perfection–intelligent, sporty, and quite good looking. Yeah, he was your classmate but there was hardly any conversation made between you two. Due to your constant observations, it was pretty damn obvious that a portion of the female students had a not-so-secret admiration for that guy. 

You wondered if anyone was brave enough to confess their feelings, but seeing as how his eyes weren't interested in that aspect of life, his stare could either make a girl cry on the spot or make them bury their body alive. You had a hunch that confessions were rare to happen. 

Also, since he's too smart, you figured that he could somehow, sense it in a person. Akashi Seijuro, for you, was peculiar and indeed, someone to look up to. He was a kind of inspiration, without the need to be interested in him in any romantic way.

You still wonder how on earth he noticed you, as you were playing chess–alone–just a few meters before the gym's entrance, in some lounge in school. That time, news about Rakuzan's loss to Seirin were being spread around and duh, since you were in the losing school, it was the hottest topic. 

Usually, people would just glance then whisper amongst themselves upon seeing you. Who wouldn't? When they see someone having a fierce battle with their self.

But he was the first, in a long time:

Akashi moved a piece on the board and muttered, "Checkmate." 

You had a scowl on your face from analyzing too much and it was still evident when you looked up at him. Your eyes met his, and though you've heard that if you did, he'll 'gouge' them out, you were still, just a tad bit frustrated at his interruption. Really though, it was the first time you looked straight into his eyes, and you knew well to listen. 

But contradicting what your brain had always reminded you, Akashi didn't flinch or anything, and you just couldn't read his expression.

"I didn't mean to bother you, Kaname." 

Akashi just came from practice and you realized, it was about time for students to go home. Then it took your brain seconds to register the way he called you using that last name.

You nodded, then proceeded to packing your stuff, turning your attention away from him. You thought he'd leave already, but he was just standing there and was watching you. 

Not to be rude, you stopped for a while, holding a white queen and a black king in one hand as you looked at him again. "Akashi-kun, is there something wrong?"

"Why do you prefer isolating yourself from everyone?" The red-haired and red-eyed guy suddenly asked, catching you off-guard. You smiled, the action not really reaching your eyes, and answered as you continued to pile the pieces back inside their place.

"Because they don't like my name. And it's also for them to have a topic to talk about, every once in a while. I pity them," you trailed off.

"But '__' isn't that bad for a name, don't you think?" 

His words made you freeze, a small gasp escaping your lips, which were soon trembling as you tried to hold in tears. "What's… it to you, then? I mean, you barely even talk to me in class, get it?"

This was very sudden, you thought. You described it as awkward, weird; and a lot more words your brain's dictionary could give you. Or at least it could provide you. The Akashi you've come to know was a bit more hostile than this.

But he smiled. 

Akashi Seijuro smiled at you. It wasn't fake, it wasn't something you daydreamed. It was genuine.

"It's just a heads up for you, that there are some people who won't judge you because of a surname," he paused, waiting for you to react. When you didn't, he continued. "Just continue being you, __." 

"…Why are you being like this all of a sudden?" 

"You're interesting, and you have potential to do great things. Don't let their judgments get in your way."

It honestly just started from that day. That was the first unforgettable moment you shared with The Emperor.

You really didn't expect that he'd end up sharing his surname with yours, in the end.

And now, as you wore an elegant and expensive white gown, you knew there were more moments you can look forward to. And you knew, that you were you, he was who he was, and that the two of you were special in your own ways. You honestly thought his father would get in the way of your relationship, but it seems like the odds were in your favor. 

Your rings were wrapped around your fingers, and a kiss to seal and lock you two together for the rest of your lives.

Akashi was a very loyal man. He was sweet, have tendencies to spoil you, despite his busy schedules. You were fine with it, after all, you were there behind him and supporting him.

Akashi was also quite a loving husband; if you know what I mean. (He lives up to his title, "The Emperor" both on the court, and in bed).

Still, there was something about him, that your guts have been meaning to tell you, that there was something wrong. Or something you didn't know or understand yet. Maybe it was his eyes, but really, you just end up drowning in them. So you killed off the doubt screaming at the back of your head. 

You were faithful, like, really faithful. And you both love each other so much that that same love gave fruit—not really a fruit though—to an addition to the Akashi family lineage. A male child, whose features were a perfect combination of yours and your husband's. For that reason, your child's name had sounded so similar to Akashi's… Since, well, he wanted to get the 'upper hand' of things. Sort of.

Akashi Seiji.

Yeah, really? Somehow that was childish of the red-haired man but it was cute, you figured. Even though you two were married, he still rarely showed his, somewhat, other sides.

And there goes that feeling again… Doubt? Suspicion? You were sure yet not so sure about it. 

Years had gone by, and before you knew it, you were celebrating Seiji's fourth birthday, complete with all your husband's business friends, and his middle school basketball team, the 'Generation of Miracles'. 

Your lives were going too happy, too well, too perfect. Just like a fairytale. You began to believe that until one night.

Things began to take a different turn, going in the wrong direction. 

You came home from work—you had insisted that you won't be a housewife, and you didn't have any interest in the Akashi Business—and was surprised to see your husband there, doing his paperwork in your room, with Seiji on the bed, solving mathematical equations that weren't really for his mere age of six. 

Your son jumped out of bed and ran to hug you as soon as you came in, his arms wrapping around your waist as he did so. Yeah, he was a mother's boy. And he went on about his day; he was getting better at playing the piano, and was also starting to learn basketball. His eyes that had the same shade of color as yours, darted over to sneak at his father, and whispered. "Mother… I think Father should teach me instead of any other coach. Because he is the greatest!" He giggled.

Akashi sighed, hearing him clearly, then turned around to face you both with his eyes closed. You expected him to at least smile at your son, but he had this serious face. His eyes were still closed, and his brows sunk in deeper. This was the usual face he makes when he used to crush his opponents in basketball, the face he makes when a secretary just fails at their assigned task. It was… scary.

"Shut. It.

Your eyes widened a bit, but seeing how your son reacted, broke your heart more. So you forced a smile, bent down and gave your son's chubby cheek a peck. "Come on, 'Ji-kun. It's way past your bedtime. Say good night to your father." He did as he was told, bowing before Akashi, before you led him outside, back to his own room and waited for him to fall asleep.

It was around 9:45 in the evening when you came back to your room and saw your husband on the bed now, reading a book. You quickly went to the bathroom and freshened up before crawling into bed next to him. You leaned your head, placing it on his right shoulder and took his scent in. 

"Sei? Is everything alright?" When the timing was right, you asked him. With a soft thud, the book was closed and he placed it on the bedside table near him, making you lean on the headboard instead. 

"Everything is as it should be, __." He faced you with a blank look, and it was the first time you noticed that his eyes were now different. Again. His golden yellow eye had returned, and looking at him made you feel uneasy.

"And why are you looking at me that way?" 

"N-Nothing, dear… Maybe I'm just tired." 

"Then sleep, rest. Good night, __. By the way, try to avoid making too much eye contact with me." He turned around, and slept with his back facing you. You were… shocked; no, that was an understatement. You were hurt. What had happened, you wondered. You tried to think back everything that has happened between you two, if you've said or done anything to trigger this certain side of your husband. 

When he was deep in his sleep, you placed an arm over his body and let the darkness your eyelids can give, take over you. 

. . .

There was one thing that was constant in this world. 

Change.

Things change. People change. As time passes by. Some were for good, for the better. 

But the way your husband changed, it wasn't exactly good, no, not at all.

It started out with text messages from women's names you didn't know. And Akashi totally didn't care nor bothered if you saw the notifications popping up on his phone. 

And in the end, unwelcome women came in every night, sometimes with your husband or the girl was fetched by limo. You were usually late to arrive home since your workplace was much farther than his. 

You weren't deaf, dumb, nor blind. You also weren't strong enough to handle this. It hurt to know and be slapped in the face that hey, you have no power to stop him even if you tried. If it wasn't for your son's presence, you might've snapped. Every night you'd sleep in your son's bed, trying your best to just cry it all out once he's gone to sleep. 

Once he asked why you weren't sleeping with Akashi. You only smiled, feeling a lump form in your throat. "Well, your father is very busy with work and he doesn't like being disturbed." 

That was also the same night you decided to sit right outside your bedroom doors for a few minutes, hearing every single noise completely, and all you could do was to let your tears fall down in streams on your face, sobbing quietly.

Weeks, months, and then it has been a year since Akashi has been taking women—mistresses—home for his own sexual desires. For a year, you remained strong, well, as strong as you could. 

And then it was Seiji's seventh birthday. 

For a day, you were suddenly his 'beloved wife' once more. Akashi gave you stolen kisses on your forehead, your cheek and an arm was always either on your waist or around your shoulders. 

You excused yourself when it was time to eat, and a certain pink-haired lady followed you to the restroom. "__-chan?" 

You blinked back the forming tears in your eyes and forced yourself to smile, however you weren't able to fool Momoi Satsuki. "Is Akashi-kun… Okay?" 

You looked anywhere except your friend's concerned eyes. Biting your lower lip to prevent from breaking down in front of her, you nodded stiffly. 

Silence shared between you two until she couldn't hold it in anymore. 

"He isn't the Real Akashi, is he?" 

Then the restroom doors suddenly burst open, and entered a busty woman with layered auburn hair, wearing a tight dress that reached just above her knees, hugging her body completely, and six inch stilettos that matched her clothing. 

Her icy blue eyes were familiar to you and then you remembered her as one of the women Akashi has taken in. 

"Oh! Mrs. Akashi, hello. Nice to meet you. You're looking splendid!" She reached for your hand and shook it. "I haven't introduced myself, I'm Aya, Akiyama Aya, one of the new board directors." You put on the best fake smile you could and with a pleasant—yet slightly higher tone of voice—you conversed with the bitch—mistress.

When Aya had left, Momoi decided to hug you, as if she saw through everything just because of what happened between you and the other lady. "M-Momoi… I just… con't know what happened… Why things had to be this way, it's so hard for me to be living under the same roof as his."

You let a few tears go, then quickly wiped them off as you pulled away from Momoi's caring hug. "Please, don't tell anyone about this. I have my son to keep me going, and I'll be stronger. Thank you so much." 

"B-But, __-chan!" 

You shushed her, bringing your index finger to your lips. "Let's go, they're probably having dessert by now. You should really try it." And you led her out, squeezing her right shoulder lightly as a final way of thanking her.

You watched your son enjoy his special day, as his father sat next to you, running his thumb over your palm he was holding. You two were silent, until you asked him. "Who are you?"

His thumb lingered over your skin before he removed his hand from yours. He smiled, and you didn't know if he was laughing at you, mocking you for such a stupid question or was forcing it out of his system for show. 

"I'm Akashi Seijuro, your husband, who else would I be?" 

Your son suddenly raced towards you. His eyes were intent on his father's, and you swore you saw Akashi's eyebrows twitch for a fraction of a second. "Father, my friends and I have decided to go horseback riding. May I take Yukimura with me?" 

Akashi motioned for his hand as a go signal, and Seiji bowed before running off with a butler to where the horses were kept. And then when they were far away from you two, you resumed your low-volume conversation with the red-haired man.

"Do you love me?" 

"Yes, I do."

"No, do you—you, right now—do you, love me?" 

And then he was silent. His face looked troubled, as if Akashi was having a war with his own self, with his own mind.

"That's what I thought…" You murmured, and stood up, suddenly feeling numb. You went to follow your son and took pictures of him, innocence and happiness radiating off of him. Seiji was your last pillar of strength, and if you can't hold on any longer, you'll have to take him with you. 

'That gives me an idea…' you thought.

But as a faithful wife, you still had to think. What if Akashi returns to his Real state? 

Two weeks later, Seiji made a mistake with the notes of the piano piece he was playing. Akashi was there, listening, while you had been busying yourself with crochet; and he made his son stop. The look he gave Seiji was a look you'd like to describe as one would use when abandoning or when giving up on someone.

"Why can't you be a little bit more like me?" He sighed, patting Seiji lightly on his head before leaving, his eyes darting towards you, as you can see from your peripheral vision. 

Akashi disappeared, probably off to find Aya or another woman he kept. 

That was the last draw. You were fine if you were being the one trampled on—most of your life, you went through that—but if your son gets affected, oh, things were to change for real. 

It was funny how you just felt your anger now. Determined, you helped your son perfect the piece before letting him have his snacks, leaving you alone with your thoughts. Playing a different piece, one you enjoyed playing with Akashi, your eyes were closed since you've mastered the piece by heart. 

You cried one last time, then made a decision. If Akashi couldn't stand your presence, how much more that you couldn't stand those filthy women. It was also for the sake of the child. This was for the better. You loved Akashi and you always will, but… Things are different.

He is different.

Through your own sources, and with the help of your mother, you were able to find a house of your own. You hadn't really told her the complete story, nor do you want to, and you didn't want her to get involved. You're not going to take revenge, of course. You're just going to keep your distance until the Real Akashi decides to come back... you hoped.

You can just make him—the Akashi right now—to love you. But… you're far too hurt already. You honestly tried. It was too late, you figured. He didn't… care. You know there's a chance you'll also get hurt physically if a confrontation was done. Plus, your son, you didn't want him to have to go through that. He was just seven! 

Tonight you'll set things right, or maybe a bit better. Sort of. You were just tired. And couldn't endure anymore. You were but a human after all. 

In just five days, you and your son would stay in the house—bought with your own money—that would be ready once you arrive. 

"__." Akashi's stern voice startled you. For the first time, he was 'available' tonight, which happened to be the last night you were going to see him this close, the last night you were going to hear his voice, his breathing. Just, this was the last night you were going to live under the same roof. 

"Seijuro." You replied. You met his eyes and tried to look deep into them, trying to find the man you married. You know it's him, he's there, but somehow he just won't come out.

"You bought a house under your name," he began and that wasn't a question. You nodded, not a single emotion slipping from your face. You tried to remain as blank as you could. "Yes, and I used my own resources to acquire it, don't worry."

'This house was supposed to be for you, me, our child. And I was supposed to be the only woman to share this bed with you. But if there are too many others, then I guess I'll take my leave.' You wanted to say more, but he just stared at you. 

He was trying to read you. 

But no, no he won't. He wouldn't understand. Because he didn't know you.

"…Sei," you took a breath and he turned to face you once more. And you pushed yourself forward and gave him a kiss, and you closed your eyes. God, you missed his lips. You probably imagined it that his hand tugged on your hair while the other caressed your cheek, down to your shoulders then arms. When you pulled away, it was for real. His upper body was nearly on top of you already, and your eyes widened a bit. 

You shied your body away from his, and he probably got the message that nothing would happen between you two tonight. "…good night, Sei." You murmured and turned the opposite side. You felt no movement from his side for a few seconds, nearly a minute or so, until the sheets were pulled and the lights dimmed. 

You only took a nap, waking up at around two in the morning. Everything was ready. You had your son up and in your car already with the help of his maid. She was eager to help you, and she'll go with you. With one last glance at your husband, you left a note and placed a clear, glass queen chess piece on top of it. 

Then, you were gone. 

That morning, Akashi woke up to an empty bed and saw your note. The first words he saw made him grip on the paper, crumpling its edges a bit.

‘Sei. 
Don't misunderstand this, please. I don't hate you. I'm just disappointed you turned into everything you said you'd never be.’ 

You had left him the address of your house nonetheless, even if you knew full well that he can just get someone to find it for him but you weren't going to be selfish and keep your child to yourself. It's just… living in two different houses 'cause apparently, one wasn't enough, no matter how big it was.

‘…in case you'd want to visit your son; please do. I hope you find happiness, Akashi Seijuro. Not just you, but also the Real Akashi Seijuro.’ 

You wrote your name on the bottom right side of the paper, concluding the letter.

Oddly, Akashi didn't burn the letter or anything like that and instead, threw it inside one of his drawers, including the chess piece. He thought you couldn't stand living away from him, and even if he doesn't want to admit it, he was waiting for you. 

The same way you were waiting for him to just come to you as his real self. 

The last time you met him was during your child's ninth birthday. You were the one organizing the parties, not him, and you even had to invite him. Akashi still had his pride with him, and you expected that. You also expected that he still came home with different women every other night, but he didn't tell you that he'd stopped. 

The Akashi Household… was quiet. Too quiet. Two years passed. No child-like voice laughing, no happy piano tunes, no you; it was dull, it was nearly lifeless. It was too late when Akashi realized that. You sometimes text him, reminding him of work-related stuff, and that he should be taking care of his self. Sometimes leaving subtle hints for him to visit for Seiji's sake. 

He didn't want you to know that he was missing you. And he wanted it to hear from you that you missed him, but you felt, after two full years of waiting, that you were the only one wanting to continue on with this marriage. 

Again, for Seiji, you decided not to divorce him. It had been in your head for a while. Since he is a male Akashi, they might snatch your child, the only heir, and leave you alone. You couldn't take that. So instead, with the strength left within you, you continued to raise your son, despite feeling down at how helpless you seemed to see yourself.

. . .

Akashi Seijuro felt empty, and thinking about it, he finally let his pride go off for a bit. This year, his son was turning 10, and during his time, at that age, his father was already preparing him for business-related duties. Yes, that would be a perfect excuse to finally visit his wife and child. 

Reaching for one of the drawers, Akashi grabbed the note and the chess piece. He cursed his self for losing and giving his wife a chance. Plus, it had been months since you last contacted him and he wanted to know why. It wasn't like you to just cut him off like that. It has been far too long to be considered as the woman being busy with work. 

Akashi drove his way using his own car, not a limo, to where his wife and son both lived. He had hoped that they didn't move without her telling him about it. But then, it would've been easy to track them down. 

The house was a bit big for just the two of them, he mused upon laying his eyes on a pearly-white, simple, yet elegant house. He went out of the car after turning the engine off, outside black iron gates. 

Akashi rang the doorbell, and he waited, the glass chess piece in his pocket. After around two minutes, a boy could be seen running to the gate, carrying a basketball with him. 

"He's… grown… a lot." The father of the child murmured. Since they lived separately, Seiji exclaimed in happiness at the sight of his father. He opened the gates for the elder Akashi to enter and gave him a big, warm hug. 

Akashi's heart began to throb, and he returned his son's hug, going down on one knee to hug Seiji tighter. He half expected for his wife to be there, running to the sight of this reunion with tears brimming her eyes.

But there was no one.

But, it can't be that she left her child—their child—all alone? 

"Seiji, where is your mother?" Akashi asked upon pulling his son away gently to look at him. The kid looked down, scratched the back of his head and sighed. The young Akashi's actions reminded him so much of his wife. "Well... you see, she's been away for a while now. And I don't know when she'll be back."

Just then, a maid was rushing to the two red-haired males, followed by an elderly woman Akashi could recognize even from afar.

It was her mother. His mother-in-law. 

The male head of the Kaname household has long passed, and the rest of their family have families of their own. 

Well, maybe except for __. Her family's status has become quite complicated; and Akashi finally admitted to his self, it was his fault.

"Seijuro-kun? Well, it took you a long while," Mrs. Kaname said spitefully, with as much venom as her voice could get. Akashi knew not to mess with nor look down at this woman whose hair was now gray, not its original color, the same shade that __ has.

Akashi bowed in greeting, "I apologize, Mother." 

"Enough," she paused, motioning for the maid to get Seiji out of the elder Akashi's reach, and to lead the child back inside to play. 

He could only watch, though he was quite confused of this sudden action. "Follow me." Mrs. Kaname ordered, and they both arrived at a veranda, overlooking the backyard where his son was playing basketball. 

He let the elderly woman sit first, before him, and when it was not that awkward, Akashi began to speak. "Is… she home?" 

"What if I told you, that she's not? That she's now happy in another man's arms?"

The idea seemed farfetched, however, Akashi found himself clenching his jaw at the thought of __, her refreshing laugh and calming smile, the touch of her soft lips on another man's; how did he put it, he was mad, he was jealous, he… was hurt.

Mrs. Kaname looked at him skeptically, and could see through his efforts of hiding his feelings.

"Though that's not exactly the way she felt when you did that to her, at least, you've had a fair share of your own medicine."

Then it struck The Emperor. He remained silent, still, and his wife's mother continued.

"If she were here, she would've gotten mad at me for doing that to you."

Akashi and Mrs. Kaname's eyes met.

"However, she's not going to be around to do that anymore." 

The redhead saw the pain, the held back tears of the elderly woman.

What? What did she just say?

"Mother…? I'm sorry, but… what?"

Mrs. Kaname took a deep breath, then smiled a sad smile as she explained. 

"She died of depression. You don't know how much it hurt to just watch her suffer, waiting for you all this time! She wanted to just end everything, but Seiji was her only thread of hope. But still… in the end she,"

"…couldn't hold on and wait much longer."

Akashi was having a hard time to process all that in an instant. However, he felt his hand reach for the chess piece he hid in his pocket. And he gripped on it, hard, as if letting go of it would have made him lose his grip on life.

He was too deep into his thoughts that he didn't notice Mrs. Kaname stand up, and retrieve something from inside the house. A few minutes later, she returned, but Akashi was just staring straight ahead, frozen in place.

Whatever the thing was, Mrs. Kaname slid it over the table to her late daughter's husband. "Here," 

It was a small photo album. On top of it was a crumpled up paper that had __'s handwriting. 

"That was the last favor she asked of me. Apparently, she knew… she felt, that, her hopes were slipping away. Her heart gave up."

Akashi's eyes went down to observe the album but his hands refused to leave his lap. 

"As what she wrote there, she told me that if you ever visit, I should give that to you, so you'd know and you'd see the things you missed when your son was growing."

Mrs. Kaname stared at him for a while, and decided, to stand up and leave him alone, giving him the privacy he should have, since that album's contents were for him and his eyes only. She figured it wasn't part of her right to take a peek. 

Akashi brought out the chess piece and placed it on the table, before he hesitantly took the photo album. The glass queen reflected the sun's light, making it shimmer in the background as the redheaded man began to flip through the album's pages slowly.

Seiji and __ in a theme park, a picture taken by Seiji himself with __ staring ahead at the sunset by the beach, Seiji making a three-point shot in their garden, Seiji playing with his own team of friends, __ having icing on her nose when she and her son baked together, and lots, lots more. 

But then, it seems the album wasn't filled to its pages. And Akashi wanted to see more, until he reached the final page and his mouth went open in the slightest. 

Akashi stared at his self, his smiling self, in the wedding picture; and the Emperor reminisced.

The way __ became his wife that day, her eyes sparkling in delight, her face glowing despite being underneath the veil she wore, her soft lips on his when they kissed; everything was perfect. 

Until things began to fall apart. 

The Akashi business was about to face bankruptcy, due to an inside-job by one of his employees—how he didn't even see that, Akashi couldn't find out why—and stockholders and investors began to pull out one by one.

Because of that, it triggered the Real Akashi to go into hiding. All the stress, the pressure, the fear—building up in his heart.

His single, golden yellow eye began to diminish, the same time tears began to form in his pair of red eyes.

And now, the Real Akashi was back.

He took out the wedding picture from the album, and was surprised to see another paper, however this one was neat and organized, meant to be hidden and be discovered by him and him only. 

Akashi began unfolding it, and read __'s letter, and he could hear her voice in his head as he did so.

'Dearest Sei,

Thank you for visiting our son after all this time. I tried to forget about us, about you; but believe me, even though I'm no longer by your side anymore, that I love you. I always have, I always will. Remember that I'll be here, to support you two—the two amazing men in my life.

From now on, I leave Ji-kun in your hands. My mom promised me she would help and guide the both of you.

Seijuro, I love you. I love you. Thank you. 

I love you.

Good bye.'

The veranda had a roof, Akashi was sure of that, he took note of that. 

And it was supposed to be sunny.

Then, why was there rain? The letter began to have droplets of water. 

When the redheaded man felt something wet trickling down his face, he realized that it was of his own doing. Not just about that, but about everything.

Immediately, Akashi asked where his wife lied in eternal sleep. 

He took the time to buy a huge bouquet of her favorite flowers, and he crouched before the gravestone, feeling the weight of her letter in his pocket.

Akashi took a deep breath, brought out a black king chess piece and the glass queen one. He placed them, lying down beside each other and pressed down, as if trying to bury them together; but not too deep, just enough for the two pieces to stay there for sure.

"…checkmate, huh?" He sighed, and proceeded to sitting, leaning slightly on the gravestone. "It happened to be that way, because I cheated?" 

Akashi grit his teeth in a mix of different emotions. He gasped, feeling the pain in his heart.

Akashi Seijuro cried. 

"I'm… sorry; I'm so sorry…"

He closed his eyes, making more tears run down his face. He hated it, that it had to end this way. He regretted his words, his actions, his choice of wallowing in fear when she was there—to help and support him—always, no matter what. The redhead gasped for breath, and he spoke with his voice that could barely be heard.

"I never… realized it… I never realized how much you loved me…. And how much I wasted that love…"

He sobbed in silence, and a gust of wind blew... he felt that you were there, smiling and crying at the same time, as you hugged him. Akashi didn't really see you, but then you vanished with the wind; finally feeling your soul at peace.