Part III - Methyl Violet
Lan tried sprouting beans on the windowsill, in damp cotton wool.
There was a bad bruise that discoloured Gingetsu's left cheek. Kazuhiko mentioned it over dinner.
"I bruise easily." Gingetsu replied, knife slicing easily through fish.
"It shows more on light skin." Lan added.
"That's the reason you never take off your visor?" Kazuhiko asked, "So no one can see the bags under your eyes?"
"Excuse me; I think the pie is just about ready." Lan said, rising.
At the mention of pie, Kazuhiko squawked and wanted to know what kind. So Lan told him (it was cherry) and took it out from the oven to cool. He heard the scrape of chair as Kazuhiko leaned over to say something to Gingetsu.
Lan put the kettle on.
"You should get him some new shoes," he heard Kazuhiko say. "The old ones are too small."
"He doesn't want them." Gingetsu replied.
"Is Earl Gray fine?" He called out from the kitchen.
There were two separate sounds of agreement. Gingetsu came into the kitchen, and handed him the used plates. Lan soaped the dishes; Gingetsu rinsed them and set them on a rack to dry.
"You heard?" Gingetsu asked.
"You still don't want the shoes?"
"No." Lan said. "I won't wear them long enough."
Gingetsu said nothing. Lan wiped his hands, and made tea. Gingetsu took it out, while Lan cut three slices of pie. Kazuhiko had a sweet tooth, and Lan knew that well.
He was partial to sweet things, himself.
Gingetsu did not eat much of his pie. He stopped after two bites, the cherries spilling purple and sticky out of the crust and onto the plate, dislodged by his fork.
Lan caught him rubbing absently at the bruise on his face once or twice. The chewing must have aggravated the aching in his jaw.
"Quite a bruise you've got there, Gingetsu. Who gave it to you?" Kazuhiko asked, conversationally, once he had polished off his own slice.
He had noticed, as well.
"No one important."
"Must have been pretty good to get you there."
Kazuhiko must have heard Gingetsu's reticence in his reply, and he left soon after, citing work tomorrow as an excuse. Neither of them attempted to keep him from leaving.
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