Author's Notes: A short one-sided Akagi x Shirona (Cyrus x Cynthia) one-shot.

This story uses the Japanese names just because they're what I usually use. ^^; Don't worry, they're the only names used here anyway, besides Shinnou, which is Sinnoh.


A silver-haired boy with stark white skin was calmly sifting through the tomes of stories passed down from Shinnou's early days, and a girl with thick blonde curls was nervously teetering on the balls of her feet as she spoke in an uncertain and nervous manner; what they shared was an interest, not a feeling.

"Oh, yes, Shinnou's creation myth!" she said, her bright eyes matching the golden sheen of her hair. "Right, I'll find it for you..."

He stepped aside, dark eyes following her motions from a set, expressionless face. "There you are," his voice was almost droning as he handed her the book.

Supporting it gently with one hand and cracking it open, Shirona's other hand worked to carefully turn each yellowed page as her gaze swept over the familiar characters, faded in some areas, but mostly legible; she never lingered on a single page for long, as if she had the contents of the books all memorized.

By then, she would only have half the books memorized.

As she turned the pages, she spoke idly. "You know, my parents lived in Kannagi, before we moved. My grandparents still live there. But when we did, we were surrounded by these-- these old stories and legends. You've come a long way to get here, haven't you?"

Her lively attempts at instigating discussion were met with short withering words only a few sylables long, but she would only frown for a brief moment before trying again, each time with a different topic, but always staying within the boundaries of the subject of her expertise.
Not only because she was unsure of her knowledge when speaking of other things, but because she also worried that she would bore him if she spoke of anything else. After all, she didn't know very much about the young recluse's interests until he approached her after finding out she had knowledge of Shinnou's folklore.
Boring Akagi was something she never wanted to do, as she would never be able to tell whether or not he was losing interest, because it seemed that he always had the same detached, disinterested expression.

So she continued, hoping she was not being a bore. "It was pleasant, the folk music, and-- ah! I found it."
After speaking, she chanced a glance in his direction and could have sworn his expression had changed, if only slightly. "Here," she offered the book.

As she reached over so that he could take it, she noticed just how pale his hand was compared to hers, how the black of his single-toned school uniform clashed with the striped sleeve of her colorful school uniform, and something else that she couldn't quite place.

When the open book was in his hands again, he began to read aloud in a monotone to himself and Shirona folded her hands behind her back and listened with a slight smile.

He finished, pausing for a moment to look over the page one last time, then returned it to her.
Shirona watched as he turned and quietly walked towards the door without another word.

She opened her mouth to speak just as he was opening the door to leave, when the silence was broken.
"Thank you."

And then he left.

Shirona learned nothing about Akagi that she did not already know after his single visit. Neither did she know nor did she expect it to be the last time they would meet for many years...

A voice, smooth and cold as ice.
"Champion Shirona-san," was spoken tonelessly.

"Akagi. You owe me an afternoon," she retorted with a smile and neglected to mention the nights wasted thinking of him.