[Krystoff] The Cage (10)

I had wondered if living with Krystoff would strain our friendship, if our strange connection to each other can even be categorized as such, but to my surprise, I’d go so far as to say it rounds out my image of him.

Being around each other as often and as casually as we are means he’s not as able to put on airs. It means I see him early in the morning, when his hair is still in disarray and a gaunt look of unrest has yet to be washed from his face. I see him when he comes home from fulfilling apparition duties, burned out and eager to sit down for a while.

He fusses and struggles and meanders throughout the day, and these are all things I saw in small pieces when I visited regularly, but seeing it on a day-to-day basis paints this more complete portrait of the kind of person Krystoff is. The kind of life he lives.

He’s… a very lonely person. Or, I guess, he would be, if it weren’t for me and Regenald. He very rarely connects with any of the hundreds of people he works tirelessly to simultaneously antagonize and protect.

He’s also pretty quiet when he isn’t putting on a front. This surprises me somewhat less. Constant banter isn’t a sustainable way of interacting with the world; unfortunately, I would know.

As far as my presence around the mansion goes, he’s amenable about accommodating for me and integrating my needs into his daily routine. He even accompanies me on my pilgrimages to the grocery store sometimes. Of course, he tries to be aloof and roundabout over it, like he’s trying to make it seem like as little of a favor to me as possible, but this actually works out well for me since I feel awkward when people do me favors, anyway. So everybody wins.

I continue maintaining the place, helping him with odd tasks, and accompanying him occasionally on his sector rounds. Not much has changed between us in application.

I feel a lot less pressured knowing now that I probably won’t be going back to earth, but it’s been somewhat of a mourning process despite my overwhelming lack of attachment to my home world. It’s hard to close the door on something that was my entire life, even if the things behind that door made me miserable. It feels like setting a photo album on fire.

I talked to Lady about that feeling recently.

upwhenimdown: We will make new memories here!! Better ones! An entire lifetime of memories! It’s gonna be great, Jun! I’m really happy you’re staying.

And that’s what she said. I’m not gonna say it made me cry or anything, but—it did touch my heart.


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