I open my eyes and look at the exact same ceiling once again.
I take a look at the evening sky as the maid fills my cup with hot black tea. She bows and leaves. Another lonely evening sitting at the veranda under the moonlight.
"...or it should be if you wouldn't pop out all of a sudden."
"Don't be so harsh, I just came by to say hi." the gap youkai smiles.
"You can't just come out like this you know. Have some modesty." I scold Yukari.
"Now, now don't be like that." she says and takes a sit across the table.
"Don't you have anywhere else to go? To the shrine maiden perhaps?"
"No..." she looks far, toward the direction of the shrine. "The shrine is full of people nowadays, youkai don't go there anymore." she says with a bitter smile.
I take a sip of my tea.
"Is it good?" she looks at me.
"No, not really."
"So why are you drinking it?"
"Who knows..." I shrug.
The soft sounds of the night can be heard.
"You know Remi..." she looks at the forest now. "I met that rainbow girl the other day."
"She was walking around with those voodoo dolls again..."
"Still doing that...?" that woman has issues.
"You know..." she looks at me again. "Alice smiles a lot lately."
"Something good has happened, I wonder?" I say with indifference. Really this type of conversation was never my thing.
"...you don't get it do you?" she sighs.
What's with her? Is she here to piss me off? At least let me enjoy this tea peacefully.
"Say Remi... How do you spend these days?"
"How you ask..."Same as ever, I wake up, drink some tea..."
"Same as ever...is it?" she makes a bitter smile.
"Isn't the same for you? For us, days, months, even years are the same."
"You are right." she gets up and open a gap right next to her. "I need to do my daily chores too."
"Not to bother you any longer then..."
"Hey Remi, you know why we don't smile like that girl?" she stops before the gap.
"What?" I leave my cup on the table.
"She...Alice said farewell with her tears and kept moving on. That girl we used to mock proved stronger than both of us."
"Oh please, not this again. Humans are just like that; don't get all emotional to me. You're supposed to know that, much, much better than me after all."
"But, even to us, time does matter. Remi, will you be able to move on too before the sand in the hourglass ends?"
"Really, you sound so pathetic... Things like these don't matter to me. I enjoy life like this." but my voice doesn't reach her. She has already left.
"Really..." I sigh.
It's so quiet here again. People like her bother me but drinking some tea with Patchouli would be nice once in a while. When it was the last time she left that library again? And that little sister of mine, she refuses to leave the basement. What a spoiled brat. Instead of sitting outside with her older sister enjoying the evening sky, she prefers idling in the basement.
The corridor is as quiet as ever. Dawn is about to come and I don't have anything better to do so I just go back to my room.
Hm? Oh, that's the old head maid's door, isn't it? I haven't been inside since then have I? Well, let's take a look.
The room is tidy and clean like time itself has stopped. Yes, this can be used; I'll just give it to the current head maid. It's a pity to remain empty.
Oh? What's this on the bed's pillow? I lift up an old stopwatch. That's right it's hers. It's still working. You press this to stop it right?
'Hey Sakuya, that watch of yours. You stop time with that right?'
'Hey, you know. If you use this can't you live forever like that?'
'I guess... but you know milady...'
*tik* *tik* *tik*
'...if I were to do that, we wouldn't be able to pass time together like this...'
*tik* *tik* *tik* *tik* *tik*
'What? I will live far longer than you Sakuya. You shouldn't worry about that.'
*tik* *tik* *tik* *tik* *tik* *tik* *tik*
'But milady...a single day spend like this worth more than an eternity.'
The grammar/spelling got just a wee bit sloppy near the end (but complaining about that would make me a massive hypocrite), but overall a very nice little story; granted, I have a soft spot in my heart for the 'Sakuya dies' concept...