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requiem

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It's been a while, but Shiho doesn't forget. Really, in the end, how can she?

She can't help stopping at the lamp post; her heart burns and burns, and there's nothing that can stop it - and not even the knowledge of vengeance served helps. She can't help remembering the man so self-assured and confident, with a smile blazing like phoenix fire who hunted for the next scoop; she can't not remember Fujikichi.

The potential of forgetting is little, and Shiho, laying film and photos against the lamp post, doesn't forget.  No, he has already changed so much about her life; it's simply impossible to forget him. Besides, she doesn't want to. 

The memories are all she has left. 

It's always dark and dim when she walks down the roads of Tokyo, remembering Kazuki Date - the man who kept her in rope with duck tape that left her lips raw and bleeding - then,  always, Fujikichi. They always come then, and somehow, remembering Kazuki doesn't make her sad, merely angry. Remembering Fujikichi makes everything drown in fog and memories that never seem to last long enough, memories of a friend who strived too far. 

Fujikichi - Fujita - or whatever he really went by to those he truly could have loved, was the man she loved. Does. Not in a vague sense of long gone love, but in a all-feeling, all-pulling sense. Shiho knows when she drowns in the sensations of remembrance, the thought dragging in the relaxing of her mind and the submergence in dull desolation and memories. 

She drowns in the feelings, sometimes. Like everything else revolving around him. Shiho never dwells for long, though. The good memories take her by the hand, and eventually, the empty dulls down into manageable pain. 

And through the few good ones he left, she releases the pain with remembrance. Shiho visits his mother - a widow with neither a husband nor a son, both lost to the perils of journalistic pursuit - and gives her flowers. Sympathy lilies, white roses, then vibrant carnations and orchids - she's given a plethora and then some more. They trickle into other gifts: cakes, sweets, and food to keep the aging lady company. 

Shiho frequents the flower shops once she gets a part-time - her father left plenty, but she isn't going to live on that - job; the blue-haired receptionist is kind and sweet, a large man with towering shoulders who seems almost too kind, but he isn't Fujikichi. There is no camera in his hands, no word of gossip or drama to keep her guard down, nothing overtly strange or weird about him like there was with Fujikichi. There's no inkling of a different side to him; nobody, after all, seems to be like Fujikichi.   

After a while, she discovers a love for flowers and drops them on the lamp post, poppies, then roses, then something more deep and meaningful once she begins to immerse herself in botany - for her brother's memory - and grows older. She ages, and so does her feelings. They grow and change, but he seems to be an ever-constant memory, even if she is 'over' his passing and beyond the years of late junior high and high school - when it all happened. 

He stays with her then, never vague enough to forget, always the presence missing behind her and across from her. He would eat loudly, then laugh even louder. There was always a side to him that she never got to see and that she'll never get to see, but could always feel. 

Fujikichi - Zenkichi - stays with her, and Shiho, happy to remember a bygone friend, does not forget.