This used to be the place I ran to
Whenever I was in need...
It was only a small basketball court. Yaten didn't understand why he was standing here. He didn't understand why he couldn't move his feet. Except that to his eyes, this court wasn't empty. It was full of life and laughter and calls. He could remember games here and barbeques and teasing Minako so that her cheeks flamed red.
And I won't ever see it again.
The words were bitter in his mouth.
Yaten turned, surprised. Minako had that talent: you thought of her and there she was. At least, whenever Yaten thought of her, she turned up. Yaten sometimes wondered why, but never for long. He didn't want to examine that question too closely.
She walked up to him, smiling tentatively. "The others wondered where you were. I had a hunch..."
"You always seem to have a hunch where I'm concerned," Yaten answered, without any of his usual bite.
"Mm, I noticed that, too. Isn't it funny?" She stood beside him, warm and golden in the grey evening light, like some sort of beacon. She also seemed to turn him lyrical.
"So how did you know I'd be here, Nancy Drew?" he said, congratulating himself on the dry tone of his voice.
"Because you always come here whenever you need time to think. Don't you have basketball on Kakyuu?"
Yaten snorted with laughter before he could stop himself. "Hardly. Our sport... it's a bit difficult to describe."
"Maybe I'll see it, one day," Minako said thoughtfully. "After all... you've visited our planet, so it's only right we visit yours."
"In about a thousand years when you've actually worked out how to travel through space," Yaten retorted.
"Does that mean 'yes'?" She grinned at him. "You want me to come?"
Yaten considered the many answers he could give and dismissed 75% of them as far too dirty for this situation. "It's an open invitation," he conceded.
Minako squealed and clapped her hands. "I got an invitation! Ooh, wait 'til I tell the girls!"
Yaten grabbed her hands. "Enough with the squealing and the clapping."
Minako pouted, looking ridiculously cute and contrite. "I'm sowwy?"
"And no baby talk," Yaten grumbled, turning around, dragging her with him.
"You know, you remind me of someone..."
Yaten paused, his vanity piqued. "Are you saying you met somebody as pretty and sarcastic as me?" He tossed his head. "Impossible!"
"Maybe not as pretty... but I definitely remember a similar sarcasm," Minako mused, following him without trying to tug her hands. "But he was taller."
"Really?" Yaten muttered.
"Mm... much taller."
"I was already in a bad mood, and you're only making it worse."
"Well... he's gone now. And you're here. And that makes you better," Minako said simply.
Yaten stopped and turned to look at her, no comeback on his mind. She smiled at him, still that beacon. He glanced over her shoulder and looked at the empty court. Emptiness. He didn't want that anymore.
"Let's go," he said, letting go of one hand but keeping the other.
"Already gone," Minako promised, swinging their hands as they walked away.
DISCLAIMER: Minako and Yaten do not belong to me, they belong to Naoko Takeuchi. The lyrics come from This Used To Be My Playground and belong to Madonna.