Yukio smiled at his wife and deliberately brought her a little less food than she needed – if she hadn’t already eaten before he woke up. He pretended he didn’t know, and she pretended she didn’t know he knew.

The rest will be here soon,” he said after he found a chair beside her.

Not across the table?” Kyoko giggled. “We’re in Sweden after all.”

Yukio grinned. Getting to know Urufu and Kuri had given them all an insight in the small details that differed between cultures. Stupid details that made people raise an eyebrow if they didn’t understand. This was one of them, and one he didn’t plan to adapt.

Swedes are just wrong about that part,” he said. “It’s not a business meeting.”

Kyoko leaned into him in agreement. “But I saw her playing with hands,” she said.

Kuri? Yeah, I guess. Urufu once said flirting involved a lot of footwork as well.”

In response Kyoko lifted a leg and draped it over his knee. “Works just fine this way as well,” she said and kicked out with her foot. “Besides it’s more comfortable this way.”

A quarter of a century with her hadn’t made Kyoko any less attractive in Yukio’s eyes. He leaned over and kissed her.

It’s finally over, the six of us. Are you scared?” Kyoko suddenly said.

Yukio pulled back his face so he could see her eyes. Apprehension played in them, but no fear. “No, not really,” he said. “A little sad,” he added after a few seconds of thought.

Do you regret it?”

Yukio shook his head. “Things come to an end. It’s just natural, and for us it’s a new beginning.”

A transition and restart,” Kyoko said and laughed. “That’s so Urufu to coin an expression like that.”

Yukio leaned his head to the side in confusion. “I don’t think he did actually, but I think he was the one who cemented it as one.” He shook off the last of his morning drowsiness from his neck. Above them the day promised to be sunny and almost warm.

He did a lot of cementing, didn’t he?” Kyoko’s voice suggested.

Yukio stopped studying the few clouds he could find. “What do you mean?”

Just thinking of Kareyoshi.”

The pig! I hope he’s still alive and rotting.”


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