Five times Yasuo could fix everything with just a few simple words.
Yasuo found Iijima sat quietly in his room, back turned to the window and gaze focused on the way his brush glided across the paper as he practiced his calligraphy. The ten-year old wore a weary look that belonged to a man three times his age
Yasuo didn’t bother knocking as he let himself in, sliding the door closed behind him to give them some privacy. Iijima did not look up to see who had entered.
“Jinroku is tearing up the garden.” Yasuo said first. “He and Ryosetsu are trampling all over your flowers.” He says this sympathetically, waiting for some sort of acknowledgement from his younger cousin.
Instead, all he got in return was a small, halfhearted “Oh.” as Iijima paused for a quick moment before continuing his writing.
Had this been anyone else, Yasuo might have been annoyed by such a reaction, but this was Iijima, after all. “But you grew them all yourself.” He said as if to say ‘Why have you stopped caring?’
Iijima stopped writing this time to look at him. “There are more important things to be concerned about.” Although the look on his face was almost that of pain; almost that of ‘Why are you making me go through this?’ “Flowers do nothing to help me prepare to run this family.”
Yasuo frowned. “Is that what you want, or what your father wants?”
Iijima had to look away, unable to look his cousin in the eyes as he answered. “I want what father wants. Making him proud is what makes me happiest.”
Walking towards Iijima, Yasuo took the brush out of Iijima’s hand and waited for him to turn his head so they were eye to eye. “He should be proud of YOU, Iijima. Not proud of what he can make you.” Still holding Iijima’s now empty hand, he placed something in Iijima’s hand and leaned forward to kiss his cousin’s forehead.
Iijima opened his hand to see what his cousin had placed, but could not hold back the tears when he saw it had been one of his flowers. Try as he might to stop, he ended up sobbing against Yasuo’s shoulder, mourning the loss of the garden he knew was now lost to him.