(In hindsight it should have been obvious.)
Senku is a master of multitasking. His mind moves millions of miles (or ten billion, according to him) a minute while never losing track of his goals. It’s because he’s so good at multitasking that no one ever notices when he pauses. It’s something in his mind that takes the form of a dazed look in his eye (almost like a distraction, but that’s silly, Senku doesn’t get distracted). It’s not noticeable to anyone that doesn’t like Senku more than a little. He’s charismatic – people admire and respect him – but very few really get him. And Gen was very few.
(The old saying goes curiosity killed the cat. Maybe he should have listened.)
Gen wasn’t upid-stay. His skills as a mentalist were valuable. That’s was why he was revived in the first place, duh. But re-ally, maybe this was a bad idea. It was purely by chance, a “lucky break” as one would say, that he happened to catch Senku leaving the village one night. The mind was powerful, but also weak. Humans rely on concrete proof to assuage their fears and doubts and well, Gen was but a curious, weak human. He didn’t doubt Senku, not for a oment-may. But if their confident scientist and leader was sneaking out then no way this couldn’t be anything but a scandal. Gen loved drama, but only from afar (and maybe that had been his fatal flaw).
He followed him, plain and simple. Followed him a few miles from the village, keeping a reasonable distance. He had to admit he still wasn’t used to this darkness. The trees are thick and the moon, while bright, wasn’t enough to pierce the denser foliage. Why would Senku travel out so late at night? And without anyone? It didn’t make sense to Gen which… wasn’t saying much. Senku didn’t make sense, but that’s part of his charm (Gen would know). He did the impossible and maybe that’s why he should have been more surprised when the impossible presented itself in the form of one Tsukasa Shishio. Well isn’t that just dandy.
Gen hid and hid quickly. He hoped they didn’t notice him because clearly they were too wrapped up in each other. There was no fanfare, no talking, no quips (that he could hear), and no ambush. It was just them. Quiet, alone – Gen wasn’t the type of writer who could come up with the words to describe this. Maybe if that one novelist Asa-something – he couldn’t remember her name – were here, she could help him come up with plenty of metaphors to describe this almost Shakespearean affair with the saddest plot he’d ever seen (but for who, he didn’t know).
The air felt like mid-October, crisp and a bit chilly. Gen loved October, but he didn’t love this at all. Tsukasa’s lion fur cape was draped on Senku’s shoulders, making him look smaller than he really is. Their pinkies are linked rather than holding hands and somehow that felt way more intimate. He could pick up bits and pieces, a history long far past and lives before. Senku’s eyes are shining a way he’s never seen. His hair catches the moonlight, and suddenly he’s there and bright and beautiful and perfect in every way and something shatters more than a little. He knows the look Tsukasa gives him. Because he may have been giving that bright, beautiful, perfect mad scientist that same look too. Senku didn’t just hang the stars and moon in the heavens. He is the heavens. And this wasn’t a meeting between enemies. This wasn’t even a meeting between lovers. This was just two men, so obviously in something stronger than love, but fight for different things and just aren’t ready to admit anything yet that Gen’s heart breaks for two separate reasons.
He wished he knew the bits in-between. Wished he knew when this started. He could guess though. Guess that this began long before anyone knew, before they knew. He could guess when Tsukasa slipped from his throne, needing to see with his own eyes that he didn’t truly murder the man who so clearly made his entire world. He could guess when Senku snuck out of the village, maybe he had intended to get in some extra science that no one understood, maybe not. You can never really tell with him. They probably came together like some powerful magnet, attracted to the presence and unable to stay away. Ah… what a beautiful image they make. Senku isn’t the only one with an overactive mind, it seems. Or maybe he was just an ool-fay in the end.
Gen headed back to Ishigami Village as quietly as he left. It was too quiet. His mind was reeling. He couldn’t sleep, not like this. Senku returned what seemed like hours later, but probably wasn’t more than one. He doesn’t keep track. He sees him, and the look he receives tells him he’s clearly busted anyway, so he might as well go for broke.
“Li-ar.” He sang. “I thought you didn’t do love or feelings.”
Probably because he knew there was no point in hiding it, or probably because he was the only person in this whole village who could see more than the surface, Senku collapsed in his arms with shaking shoulders.
“I thought you were done spyin’ on us.”
“Nope. I’m a shady mentalist, after all.”
It should hurt more than it did to see Senku crying over Tsukasa, but there was nothing left to shatter at this point. A sickening hollow feeling spread throughout his body that made him hold the scientist tighter. There was a language there. A language between Senku and Tsukasa that only they knew. It wasn’t a language of words, but one of cracks and hidden meanings. Almost like a game, but neither men were like that. He wished they were.
(He wished he could think Senku was ratting himself out, but he knew him too well.)