|Link II: Red Gold
Author: Guede Mazaka
I am sending back the key
It defied logic. The farther Alec grew from his parents' slaughter, the better he remembered them.
Of course, his brutally thorough pursuit of that part of Russian history helped a great deal. Sometimes a picture in some yellowed reference book would trigger a memory, or a word spoken by the Russian professor, dropped into the classroom like a lodestone that inevitably found its way to Alec. He began to dream whole sequences of his life before. At first, in black and white, but later, color gradually dripped in to flesh out the flickering horrors.
It was much easier than he thought to keep his discovery secret. The letter with its screaming voices was muffled in the space between mattress and bedboards. A well-placed smile, used to gull professors and susceptible shopkeepers, could be effortlessly turned upon his mentors, his friends. Even James, to a point. But then, James was developing his own façade. Alec and he had an unspoken pact not to discuss the issue and simply to accept it as a necessary part of their friendship, but sometimes Alec wondered whether that agreement was less temporary expedience and more…something else.
They were beginning to notice girls now, but Alec was also noticing James. Black hair, changeable blue eyes, and that one grin he reserved solely for Alec. The one that always brought up an answering smirk, no matter what Alec had been thinking over before. And once in a while, when he was looking at James, he thought the other boy was looking back.
That was the difficult part. Even though Alec couldn't decide exactly what James was to him, he was certain that it wasn't simple friendship. And he was starting to realize how that might interfere with the strands of red and silver that were daily growing from the faded words of his parents, weaving their way across the recesses of his mind. The final decision wouldn't come for a long, long time-he knew patience was of utmost importance-but it would come. He didn't want to make it.
The gate rattled, jolting Alec out of his thoughts, and James' rosy-cheeked face puffed into view. "Come on, Trevelyan. Time to go."
Thrown off by his fatigue, James' hand clapped onto Alec's neck instead of his shoulder. It stayed there, warm and beckoning, before lifting off to grab his elbow and drag him off the bench into the sunny day.
Things could wait. He needed the time to make himself ready, at any rate. Until then-he had to fulfill his role on Shakespeare's stage. "All right," Alec laughed, free and amused. "I'm coming."