Snowflakes danced through the sky in fairy-like circles, carried by each waft of soft night breeze and wrapped themselves around the Citadel in a crisp embrace. Nikkari had seated himself onto the wooden planks of the inner yard, watching the beautiful spectacle in silence.
Behind him, he could hear the cheerful chatter and clatter of the other residents; gathered together beneath big kotatsus and thick blankets. A sudden bout of happy laughter errupted behind the closed off wooden doors, paired with clapping and clinking of glasses.
A faint smile painted onto Nikkari's lips.
Swinging his legs back and forth, the gentle white twirled in the air until it met with their many brothers and sisters.
No, he shouldn't think about joining in. No matter how tempting the calls seemed, get togethers and loving festivities, those weren't things made for him. Today was supposed to be a holy night, but what would he know about holiness
Tipping his head into his neck, his long hair fell across his face, hiding the freezing twinkle in the corners of his eyes.
He shouldn't dwell on these matters. They were a curse he had brought onto himself a long time ago.
The moment he had dared to slice through innocence, he had dipped his world into darkness and burdened his shoulders with the weight of his sins, until he was granted the same fate.
He had to accept that, just like he had accepted the calls ringing in his ears day by day; calling for him; these unforgiving claws, red and burning, demanding to hold him forever in the pits of hell, as a mother would embrace her dear child.
And yet, he still bore this faint wish in his chest, that just sometimes he...
Nikkari's body dipped forward when a heavy weight fell onto his shoulders.
Confused he turned his head around.
"Awww, here you're hiding. You must be mad, do you want to freeze to the wood?"
Kasen pushed his hands into his sides and pouted. His cheeks carried the frosted tint of redness, where the cold had lingered too long and a few snowflakes laid playfully entangled in his messy hair.
Grabbing the rim of the thick blanket, Nikkari held the fabric close to his body and answered with a light chuckle.
"Oya, are you sure this is a good idea? Your precious blanket will get all soggy now."
Without saying a word, Kasen flopped down next to him, a stern look embedded on his face.
He grabbed the edge resting around Nikkari's shoulder and pulled the blanket towards himself, wrapping the both of them together underneath.
"It can't be helped if my friend is foolish and thinks he won't gather rust anymore, just because he has a human body now. How truly unelegant to think of you covered in snot later, if I am not here to save you."
A warm hand casually searched for his own and unwrapped his fingers from the cold wood planks, entangling them together instead. When Nikkari looked up to see into Kasen's face, the other quickly turned his head around.
"Hm, I don't think that would be a good sight indeed. Or maybe it is scary enough to scare unwanted ghosts away.", Nikkari mused, tipping one finger against his mouth.
Kasen wrinkled his nose in disapprovement.
"As if that is neccessary, such unsightly things have no place here in the Citadel."
The hand above his own pressed his fingers ever so slightly.
Nikkari hesitated for a moment, before lowering his glance.
"You're probably right."
These weren't the claws from hell, that usually haunted him.
And maybe it was okay even for him, to forget about his sins, if only for one night.
Closing his eyes, Nikkari leaned his head against Kasen's shoulder, his long hair cascading across his face and hiding the faint smile that had stolen onto his lips.
Without any care, snowflakes danced through the night sky in fairy-like circles and light hearted chatter resounded behind them through closed off wooden doors.