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Reborn: A Butterfly’s Kiss | Rose & TheKittieFromTime

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕
Reborn: A Butterfly’s Kiss


muse a and muse b are childhood friends. they were inseparable; they did everything together. muse b had the tendency of protecting muse a, especially from schoolyard bullies. at the age of ten, muse a moved away. despite the distance, muse a and muse b maintained contact. however, three years later, what happened if muse a cut off all ties? years later, for the first time, muse a and muse b reunited.

while muse a retained his gentle demeanor, something about him changed. during a casual outing together — the first time in years — muse a and muse b are attacked by a mugger. before the man pulled the trigger, what happened if muse a killed him? how will muse b react to muse a’s darker persona?
Rose (muse a) & TheKittieFromTime (muse b)
are permitted to post here only.
 

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕
Summer 2020 — Central Park, New York City

Slender fingers tapped on the touchscreen. After punching the number and hitting send, he raised the iPhone to his ear. It buzzed once, twice, thrice—

[ Bonjour? ] a feminine voice greeted.

“Bonjour, maman,” acknowledged the young man.

[ Renata, mon chéri! How are you today, mon le petit? ] his mother inquired, her English accented heavily by her French tongue.

A soft smile painted his lips. “I’m fine, maman. I finished settling in,” Renata replied.

[ Magnifique! It’s been years since we’ve lived there, Renata... ] she trailed, concern evident in her tone.

A chuckle rumbled inside his chest. “Not much has changed, maman. I have a week to familiarize myself,” Renata assured.

[ Keep me updated, mon chéri! ] she declared.

“Will do.” A few minutes after conversing with his mother, Renata bid her goodbye and ended the call. The golden-eyed blonde heaved a sigh, slipping the cellphone inside the inner pocket of his thin blazer. It was the beginning of July, three days after the celebration of Independence Day. One week ago, the former local settled into a quaint apartment in his old neighborhood of Monarch Park. His mother fussed about his choice of location, preferring the lavish accommodations that Manhattan provided. However, Renata didn’t move back to New York City to rely on his mother’s and late father’s wealth. With the money he saved, the blonde found a small, but recently renovated apartment in Brooklyn, his preferred borough. Once he moved in and unpacked, Renata familiarized himself with his old neighborhood. Now, since it was Friday, Renata was currently inside Central Park. It was early afternoon, a half hour shy of one. The former local maneuvered through the crowd with ease, years of the hustling and bustling of city life granting him the ability of handling the congested streets. He hummed underneath his breath, a serene smile gracing his face.

Eleven years passed since Renata Valentino stepped a foot on American soil. He was born and raised in the quiet neighborhood of Monarch Park. The neighborhood, while not lively and popular as the hotshots like Williamsburg, was renowned for its beautiful parks and population of monarch butterflies; hence, its namesake. As a child, butterflies were his favorite thing in the world. In spite of eleven years abroad, Renata never lost his love for the delicate creatures. Leaving Paris, especially his mother, was one of the hardest decisions in his life. On the other hand, despite his reluctance, Renata left for a reason.

A wistful grin adorned his face. “We use to love coming here and watch the street performers,” the blonde murmured, eyeing a dreadlocked-haired hipster plopped on the ground with a guitar case in front of him. As the young man strummed a familiar melody — Renata was familiar with American pop culture, but the song eluded him — the performer’s guitar case was propped open and filled with various tips. Renata retrieved a crisp ten-dollar bill from his pocket and placed it inside the case. The guitarist flashed him a grin. He dipped his head in response and continued his journey through one of his favorite places in New York City. Fortunately, the weather was mild; not too hot, not too cold.

At some point, Renata brandished his cellphone and snapped pictures. Utilizing a digital camera — not the device on his phone — provided better quality, but all Renata had on him was his iPhone, wallet, and keys. He might bring his camera on his next excursion, but for now, photos on his cellphone sufficed. The blonde focused on his task, momentarily unaware of his surroundings. He continued humming underneath his breath, the serene smile never leaving his face.
 
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TheKittieFromTime

New Member
A sigh escaped Daichi's lips, his eyes glued on the red light from the pedestrian crossing. His hand clutched the strap of his bag slung over his shoulder, the books and laptop inside making it heavy. He didn't mind it that much. Compared to some of his other days, it was relatively light. His day at university had been long and tiring, but he was getting close to finishing his essay he had been working on for a few months now so he felt content. If only the cars stopped passing by so he could cross the street and go home. He still had a lot to do and he wanted to have some time to himself first. Finally, after what felt like hours but was only a minute, the cars were stopped by their light turning red and Daichi could continue walking. Normally he took another route, one that brought him past some shops he bought his groceries in, but today he had headed in a slightly different direction. Crossing through the park would save him some time, and he always felt relaxed there, so it had been an easy decision to make.

Daichi came to a stop as he entered the park, a small smile on his face as his eyes glanced around. New York was a busy city that never slowed down. The park was different. It was calm and peaceful, a haven to shield him from the hustle and bustle of the city. Ofcourse it was filled with tourists, but it was relatively easy to ignore them and focus on the beauty around him. It was the best way to revocer from the stress from school, and Daichi took a few minutes to just wander around and let the stress fade away. Eventually he reluctantly continued walking in the direction of his home. He couldn't stay there all day, even if he wanted to.

Daichi loved watching people. Having lived his entire life in New York, it was easy enough to spot the tourists. They were the ones standing still and looking around with camera in hand, the ones who looked around with wonder in their eyes and took pictures of things that were normal to locals like him. He liked to imagine what their lives were like, and where they came from. It had become something of a hobby to him, something to entertain himself as he travelled from his home to university and back again. He almost missed it, his eyes drifting across the people walking around, but there was a nagging feeling in the back of his head that made him stop walking. He looked around, trying to find the source of it, when his eyes landed on a somewhat familiar figure.

It had been years since Daichi had last talked to his childhood friend. Even longer since they had last seen each other. But he'd never forgotten him, and he could still picture the young boy in his head. This guy he was looking at was the spitting image of the boy he played with as a child, just older. It had been some time since Daichi last thought of Renata. He had been busy with school and other things, and he didn't have time to reminisce about his youth. He remembered the happiness he had felt when they played together, the sadness when he moved away, and the heartbreak when he stopped responding to Daichi's emails. Maybe he was wrong. Maybe that person wasn't his old friend. But what if he was? He had to know.

Daichi hesitated for only a second, but even before his mind made up the decision to talk to him his feet had started moving. He approached the male, who seemed to be focused on his phone with a smile on his face. His heart was hammering in his chest with both nerves and excitement, his hands sweaty. He tightened the grip on the strap of his bag. He stopped a short distance, a hopeful look on his face. "Renata? Is that you?"
 

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕

”Renata? Is that you?”

All of the sudden, a painfully similar voice washed over him. The deep tenor was low, a stark contrast to the childish pitch he once known, but Renata recognized the tone. No matter the age, Renata could never forget the voice of his oldest and closest friend. Slowly, the light-haired former local turned around. The moment his golden amber eyes landed on the familiar bronze-haired brunette, his heart clenched. His serene smile dimmed, all traces of his wistfulness gone. His grip on his cellphone tightened, knuckles on the verge of whitening. Renata swallowed thickly, struggling to find his voice. He opened his mouth, but closed it. The blonde repeated the process, but his voice continued to fail him. A few minutes later, he lowered his gaze. Instinctively, he hunched, making himself appear smaller than his actual height.

“H-hello, D-Dai,” Renata murmured.

He suppressed a flinch. The half-Italian hasn’t stuttered in years. For a moment, instead of two twenty-one year old strangers, it was a pair of ten year old best friends. In the past, the taller blonde always followed his brave ball of sunshine. Because of his timid disposition and penchant for stuttering, he became a primary target for schoolyard bullies. Despite his shortcomings, his bronze-haired friend always protected him. Sweet, dependable Dai whom never left his side; the same boy who Renata abandoned. Had the situation been different, Renata might of noticed their height difference.

For the longest time, Dai towered over him. It seemed, after eleven years, the tables have turned. Although, two centimeters was hardly an accomplishment.

The blonde bit his lip, repressing the urge to fidget. “U-uh, how are you?” Renata inquired politely. A distinct French accent was evident in his tone. Despite his impeccable English, after years across the pond, his American accent dimmed. Renata was fluent in a total of four languages — soon to be five since he planned on studying Spanish — but for the longest time, all he spoke was French. Unsurprisingly, it warped his accent. The former local fingered the edge of his phone case, eyes lowered and shoulders hunched. Strands of his light blonde hair swept over his forehead, skimming his golden amber hues.

Instead of attempting to further the conversation, Renata remained silent. At this point, he didn’t trust himself to speak without a tremor in his voice. Out of everyone in New York City, Renata never imagined reuniting with Dai of all people. It was a very much real concept, and Renata considered it during his move, but he never anticipated the possibility. For all he knew, Dai left New York a long time ago. Now, it seemed fate decided otherwise.
 
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TheKittieFromTime

New Member
Daichi knew it really was Renata when their eyes met. It was the same golden amber he used to look at all those years ago. For a moment it felt like they were children again, that same giddy feeling in his chest as back then, but then he was back in the present. The excitement he had felt on seeing his childhood friend again slowly faded as Renata just looked at him. Words seemed to fail him as he tried to speak a few times but no words came out. Daichi felt for him. It must be a shock to see him again. Hell, he knew he was! He took the time Renata used to recover to examine him. He had really grown since they last saw each other. Ofcourse he had as well, but while Daichi used to be taller than him it was now the opposite. Besides that, he was still the same. The same pale skin, blond hair, and the golden eyes Daichi had always loved. Suddenly his heart ached with longing, to return to those carefree days when all that mattered was them playing video games together.

Daichi was pulled from his thoughts by a familiar voice he hadn't heard in years. It was deeper now, but it was still unmistakably Renata. Seemed like he had finally found his voice. Daichi's lips curled up into a smile, his eyes twinkling in excitement. He didn't seem to notice the stutter. It was nothing new to him; Renata had stuttered as a kid. Daichi remembered trying to help Renata grow out of it, and when it didn't seem to help had tried to help him accept it. It was a little difficult with other kids their age seeing it as a weakness and bullying him about it, but Daichi had always been quick to interfere. Usually just his presence was enough, but it had ended in fights a couple of times. Some he won, others he lost. Every single fight had been worth it, though. Anything to keep his friend from being hurt.

Again, Daichi was pulled from his thoughts by Renata's voice. It was still a strange experience, but one he was happy to experience once again. After Renata had one day stopped responding to his emails, Daichi had thought he'd never hear his voice again. He still remembered how upset he had been, even as his mother tried to comfort him. "These things happen," she had said. "Sometimes people move on." It had done nothing to ease the ache in his heart. But now Renata was in front of him again. His smile widened slightly. It should feel awkward after all these years, but it didn't. Not to him, at least. "Good! Yeah, I'm good." He tugged on the strap of his bag. "Just on my way home from university." He paused for a moment, then grinned. "How are you? It's been, what, 11 years? Man, we really need to catch up!"
 

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕

”How are you? It’s been, what, 11 years? Man, we really need to catch up!”

Ba-dump. His grip on his iPhone tightened, fingers trembling from the white-knuckled grip. Tears pricked at the corner of his eyes, but Renata shoved them back viciously. He breathed in deeply, exhaling through his nostrils. The blonde repeated the process, calming his erratic heartbeat. Mio dio, Renata forgotten how unbelievably bright his former friend’s smile was. In the past, Renata considered his best friend his own personal sun. The boy’s sunny optimism and unyielding loyalty gave him the courage to stand back up when the schoolyard bullies pushed him down. A stab of disbelief penetrated his delicate heart. After eleven years — eight years of no contact whatsoever — apart, how can Daichi smile at him? How can his former best friend stand here and act as if nothing changed?

How can he pretend that Renata didn’t cut off all ties eight years ago?

Swallowing the bile inside his threat, Renata mustered a feeble grin. “S-sure,” he murmured. Inwardly, he winced at the thought. Renata couldn’t, shouldn’t fill his former friend with false hope. The brunette deserved better than a no-good, promise-breaking bastard too selfish to say no. Renata bit the inside of his cheek, self-loathing warring with the semblance of hope manifesting inside his chest. Deep down, whether he acknowledged it or not, Renata missed his childhood best friend.

Before his nerves consumed him completely, Renata tapped his fingers on his cellphone, opened a new contact page, and handed it to the shorter brunette. “I, erm, will shoot you a text. W-we can discuss plans later,” he offered. Since the moment Renata lowered his gaze, not once has he looked Daichi in the eye. The blonde wasn’t certain if he could maintain his composure if he peered inside the mahogany eyes of his childhood best friend. It took every fiber of his being not to crumble in the presence of the only person outside of his immediate family that he cherished. In spite of eleven years apart, Renata never stopped caring about the older boy.
 

TheKittieFromTime

New Member
Daichi was no idiot. He could see something was bothering Renata, but he had no clue what it was. How could he? They had been apart for so long. He didn't know who Renata was, but he wanted to find out. He wanted to see and talk to him again, get to know the new him and see what traces of the kid he once knew still remained. He also had some questions, ofcourse, but they could wait. For now he was just thrilled to see him again and to reform their bond. The questions related to their - and mostly his - past could wait.

When Renata agreed to catch up, Daichi's smile widened. A part of him had expected Renata to reject him, to walk away and leave him alone once more, but he didn't. He agreed to spend time together. It was the best outcome Daichi could have hoped for. He eagerly took the offered phone, quickly entering his number and handing it back to him. "I can't wait! I know this great café close to here where we can sit down and talk." He came there a lot, usually when he had to work on his essay. They had the best coffee he had ever had. He glanced down at his watch, wincing as he saw the time. He looked back up at Renata. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I really need to work on my essay." He wished he could stay longer, but his teacher would kill him if he didn't finish it in time. He tightened his grip on his bag and gave Renata a warm smile. "It's good to see you again, Ren!"

Daichi turned around and started walking away. As he walked a part of him couldn't help but feel like Renata would disappear again. His heart ached at that thought. Renata was the best friend he had ever had. Now that he had a chance to get him back, he didn't want to lose him again. A short distance away he turned around again and waved, yelling "Don't forget to text me!" back at Renata. It would have to do to calm his nerves. Then he kept walking. Time to go home and get to work. With a bit of luck he'd finish what he needed by tonight. He wasn't looking forward to another all nighter. But he had a feeling he wouldn't get much work done, not with his mind distracted by thoughts and memories of his childhood. He sighed. It was going to be a long night.
 

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕

”Don’t forget to text me!”

The light-haired blonde froze. As his former best friend waved, Renata — albeit reluctantly — returned the gesture. He barely registered the last snippets of their conversation, focused on the single phrase. Don’t forget to text me. For a moment, Renata was ten years old again and crying in front of his personal ball of sunshine. The golden-eyed boy never wanted to leave. He pleaded, begged, and cried for his parents to reconsider, but the work opportunity in Florence was something his father couldn’t refuse. During his last day in New York City, before he left to catch a late flight, Renata and his best friend promised to keep in touch. International phone calls was a tad too expensive, but they had e-mail and video chats. Air mail was a thing of the past, but if necessary, Renata wouldn’t hesitate to utilize it. For three years, he maintained contact with his childhood friend. Before he left his hometown, Renata promised to never lose touch.

A few months after the third year, everything changed.

He blinked, snapping out of his stupor. Once Daichi was gone, the blonde heaved a shuddering breath. A few tears slid down his face, but the former local rubbed his eyes with the heel of his palm. Renata glanced at the new contact information on his cellphone. A part of him wanted to delete the information and pretend he never reunited with his childhood friend. Despite living in his old neighborhood, New York City was huge. Since he graduated early, the half-Italian didn’t have to worry about the hustle and bustle of schooling. No matter how much his head screamed to delete the contact, Renata didn’t have the heart to.

He really was a no-good, selfish piece of trash.

Slowly, he slipped his iPhone inside the inner pocket of his thin blazer. With his former wistful mood gone, Renata didn’t bother continuing his previous activity. He maneuvered through the massive park, heading toward the direction of the nearest bus stop. Normally, he took the underground, but the golden-eyed blonde wasn’t in the mood with facing the overcrowded mode of transportation.

Half an hour later, Renata was sitting on a bus leading him outside of Manhattan. The former local retrieved his phone, opened his contact list, and sent a quick text to Daichi. A short, Hi, this is Renata. I’m free for the week. Simple and to the point. As he waited for the older boy to respond, and set a time for their unexpected outing, Renata stared out the window. Fortunately, the bus was scarce of passengers. Considering it was the beginning of the weekend, the half-Italian was surprised. On the other hand, he wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. The golden-eyed foreigner pressed his temple against the window, closing his eyes.
 

TheKittieFromTime

New Member
It took Daichi another 15 minutes to get home. The entire walk back his mind was on his past. Their past, he should say. He remembered them playing together in the park, walking to school together, and even going on vacation together once. It was still the best vacation he had ever been on. But he also remembered their last couple of days together. Daichi had tried to be strong for Renata, reassuring him that they would keep in touch and that nothing would change. But that last day he had been unable to hold back his tears, and after Renata left he cried in his mother's arms. He had eventually fallen asleep, exhausted both mentally and physically from the crying. And then life moved on, as if Renata had never been there. As if Daichi had always been on his own. It had taken him some time to adjust to life without his best friend around, and he emailed him every day to tell him about what had happened. Most of it was boring stuff with him just rambling about little things, but he felt lonely without Renata around. But every time, Renata sent him back an answer. Those emails were the highlight of his day. Until eventually they stopped. Daichi kept sending him these emails, hoping for an answer. He'd wait anxiously at the computer for his replies, but they never came, and his parents had to drag him away from there multiple times. Eventually he gave up, but he never forgot.

Daichi shook it off, dropping his bag on the floor and kicking off his shoes. He had moved out of his parents' place about 2 years ago and now lived on his own in a small studio. He visited his parents regularly, though lately he had been too busy with school to go there. He hoped it would change soon. He did have some free time coming up, but now that Renata was back he wanted to spend that time with him. His parents would understand. He had just entered his bedroom when his phone pinged, telling him he had a text. Grabbing it from a pocket he saw a text from an unknown number. Renata. He hadn't expected a text that quickly, but he was thrilled. He quickly saved his number in his contact list, then sent him an answer back. Hi! I've got time the day after tomorrow, wanna meet up at the park around 3? I'll take you to that café I go to, you'll love it! He put his phone on his desk, wanting to see when Renata replied, before grabbing his books and laptop. Time to work on his essay. He loved his major, but sometimes he wondered why he had ever decided to choose it. It was way too much work. Then again, that was university. At least he got in on a scholarship so he didn't have to pay anything. Besides rent for his apartment, ofcourse. His weekends were spent working his ass off so he wouldn't be kicked out. He was ready to just be done with school and have some sort of social life.
 

AkiridionRose

♕ Warrior ♕

Almost an hour later, Renata stepped out of his third and final bus for the late afternoon. A direct route from Central Park, Manhattan to Monarch Park, Brooklyn didn’t exist. While a taxi circumvented the inconvenience, it was too expensive. Unless he had no choice — or in case of an emergency — Renata preferred against stepping a foot inside a taxi. The blonde sauntered down the street, heading toward the direction of his apartment complex. Fortunately, the location wasn’t too far from the bus stop. Renata chose the complex for its convenience. The area had everything he needed; close to the bus station, near the shops, and perpendicular from his favorite park in the neighborhood. Once Renata entered his complex, he forgone the elevator in favor of the steps.

Many things about him changed, but some things remained, including his fear of elevators. Renata loathed the box-shaped deathtraps.

As the blonde climbed the steps to the third floor, Renata brandished his cell. He received a text from his former friend about twenty minutes ago, but the half-Italian didn’t respond right away. He stared at the sleek iPhone, golden-amber hues devoid of his signature gentleness. The unopened message flashed on his touchscreen, reminding him of the unanswered text. Silently, Renata swiped his thumb across the screen, opened the text, and tapped a response. After a few strokes, he pressed send and pocketed his cellphone.

I’ll see you there, it said.

A few minutes later, Renata arrived on the third floor, approached his apartment, and unlocked the front door. The moment he opened it, stepped inside, and closed it, Renata pressed his back against the door. He slid to the floor, resting his forehead against his propped up knees. “Qu'est-ce que j'ai fait,” he whispered, tone pained. The blonde wrapped his arms around his ankles, fingers trembling.

*

Day After Tomorrow — Central Park

By three o’clock, Renata sat on a bench underneath one of his favorite trees in the park. Since the weather forecast predicted a high percentage of rain, the blonde donned a fleece hoodie and carried a travel umbrella. It took every ounce of courage inside his heart to leave his apartment for the scheduled meeting. Yesterday, the former local was in a ongoing state of panic, uncertainty, fear, and self-loathing. He regretted taking a stroll through Central Park, but at the same time, he was grateful. Underneath the endless sea of loathing, Renata wanted to reconnect with his childhood friend. Mio dio, he missed his former ball of sunshine.

The blonde was currently fiddling with the rings on his left hand. He lifted his gaze, staring at the grey clouds encompassing the sky. A frown marred his lips, uncertainty evident in his golden amber eyes. Renata hummed underneath his breath, the familiar melody calming his frayed nerves.
 

TheKittieFromTime

New Member
As expected, Daichi barely got any work done in the next day as he impatiently waited to meet Renata again. He could barely pay attention during class, something his professors didn't appreciate. It got him into a little bit of trouble, but he didn't care. It wasn't like it was the first time. It felt like it took forever, but finally the time had come. It was just his luck that he was running late. School seemed to drag on forever that day, and when he thought he was finally free to go his mentor pulled him aside to talk to him. Daichi had barely listened, just nodded and muttered "yes" when it seemed appropriate to do so. Judging from the look on his professor's face she hadn't bought it, and he knew he'd be in trouble - again - later. But it didn't matter. He was late and he could kick himself. He ran as fast as he could, ignoring red lights as he crossed the streets. His bag kept slamming into his leg as he ran, and he was glad he had placed his laptop between some books.

By the time Daichi finally arrived at the park he was 15 minutes late. His eyes scanned the park, quickly running over to Renata once he spotted him sitting on a bench. He panted as he came to a stop in front of him, leaning forward with his hands on his knees. "Give me a minute," he panted. He shouldn't have been thát tired. "I really need to start working out," he chuckled, still out of breath. He felt embarrassed; not only was he late for their meeting, but now he was sweaty and red-faced and out of breath. Great first impression. Well, second first impression. He straightened again when it seemed he had his breathing under control again, shooting Renata an apologetic grin. "Sorry I'm late, my professor wanted to talk to me." He nodded to their right. "Milos café is in that direction." He started walking again, waiting to walk next to Renata. He glanced at him as they walked, a curious look in his eyes. "How long have you been back here?"
 

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