13. A World Without Keu

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Autumn really did it... All by himself, Spring thought on their way to the lobby. Everyone they passed by squealed and cheered for the man on their way, and he returned it with a psuedo-humble shrug and a chuckle. Spring kept his head down. All through the party that was thrown for the winners, or the winner in their case, the boy stayed in the back of the room and watched Autumn celebrate with 'friends' he had never seen before. He wanted to be there with him, too but... Thinking on how useless he had been kept him away.

"Ladies and gentlemen," Dr. Raynecaster took the attention of the lobby. Autumn looked up from his chat with a young woman in a tight gown to see his father lit up with pride. He grinned. "My son has made me the happiest man alive today. I know this is only the first match, but I know by the final one next week, I will be able to say this: my son, the champion."

Autumn joined the rest of the room as they raised their champagne glasses. The rest of the room, except for Spring. Instead of enjoying the party, he sighed and stepped out. At first, the man hardly noticed. He was surrounded by so many adoring eyes in the high of his victory that he forgot he didn't know hardly anyone surrounding him. After some time, though, the high wore off, and he found himself alone like he usually was in the crowd of people. His heart sank; where was Spring? At that thought, he headed outside.

Standing there in the artificial moonlight with his face in Keu's shirt, Spring grasped at the older man as he cried quietly in the silent dark of evening. Autumn felt his heart sink to the bottom of his shoes. He was... Crying? But why? Was he hurt; had he not protected him from the battle with Summer and Tyler? Keu glanced over at him with a frown and gave a helpless shrug. Seeing the fragile boy spewing his emotions out to another man put a point in his chest, but when his ears picked up on the little cries he stood and listened.

"I was so useless, Keu," Spring cried. "He had to protect me half the time! I wanted to do something to help him, but even when I finally thought of something he didn't want to hear it. It was probably stupid, anyway..." He grasped him tighter. "It wouldn't have been so bad if we had a least celebrated together, if I could have joined everyone else to cheer for him, but he didn't even look at me that whole time! He was so busy with all these people I'd never seen before, and these beautiful girls, and his dad, and... I just don't belong there!"

Keu rubbed his back as he cried. Eyes still on Autumn, who clenched his fists at the guilt building in his chest, the man gestured with his head for him to take over the comforting, but the raven shook his head. He couldn't face the boy now- not after how he'd treated him. They were supposed to be lovers now, and he'd neglected him so much that he found the necessity of running to someone else to cry on. Autumn shook his head. Heading back inside to the people who neither knew him like the boy did nor treated him with as much love, he left Keu and Spring alone. He'd do better tomorrow.

Spring stepped back from the man, grasp loosening for his to wipe his tears with his own hands. When he looked up from his hands at the man looking off toward the doors of the lobby he cocked his head. Keu glanced back down at him and gave a sad smile to let him know that he was still listening as he stroked his red bangs from his moonlight pale skin. The boy sniffed. Autumn hadn't even noticed that he was missing yet- not that he was hoping he would; the man had the right to celebrate in proper company, after all. He just...

The tears he thought had dried up streamed down his cheeks again. It wasn't fair, he selfishly thought. He just wanted to be a part of Autumn's life, and yet he desired to be every part of Autumn's life; he wanted to be his joy; he wanted to be his rock; more than anything, he wanted to be the first person that the man thought about after every one of his victories. Even if he couldn't help, he at least wanted to be the one he looked forward to celebrating with afterward. At the same time, however, he knew he didn't deserve it. He was selfish. At that thought, his eyes widened.

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