The smell of insence sticks.
Daisuke watched his friend as he lit one stick after the other and finally it made sense to him why Ken ocassionally carried around a lighter.
After he had finished lightening the insence around the grave (it were just three sticks anyway), Ken got up and had his hands meet in what was obviously a prayer. Not sure if he should join in, the auburn-haired boy just observed silently for what seemed like an eternity of silence to him. Thinking of it, he probably should really not join in. All he knew about Ken’s brother was what he had been told by the members of the Ichijouji family he had gotten to know over the past time. Everybody held Osamu very dearly in their hearts and he wouldn’t hear a single slightly negative word about him. Sure, he had gone too early. Nobody should die when not even remotely grown up. But hearing everybody call him “dearest”, “genious”, even “angel” time and again had Daisuke understand to some degree why Ken had been agry about his brother during his lifetime, and why he had been so devastated afterwards.
Still, seeing Ken in a prayer was something he had never seen before, and it was a very strange sight for some reason. On the one hand Ken looked peaceful with a certain kind of beauty to him. But on the other hand, the scene was a bit eerie. Daisuke didn’t like graveyards to begin with, and ever since they got here, Ken had been silent, thoughtful and maybe sad.
Daisuke had no idea for how long Ken had been praying, but suddenly he looked up again and smiled at him.
"Let’s go home."
On the way, there was still not much talk between the two, so Daisuke tried to start a conversation. He had no idea what to talk about today, as the last times had been rather eventless, but he tried anyway. There was something bothering him anyway.
"I didn’t know you’re religious."
"Hm?" Ken looked at him. "Well, actually, I’m not. Not really anyway…"
"But you were praying."
The blue-haired boy smiled. “I guess you could call it like that. There’s not really any other way to talk to him left now and I feel close to him, here. There’s not really much more to it.”
Daisuke scratched the back of his head. Wasn’t that the same as praying in a religious sense? His family did not really follow any religious customs, he wasn’t greatly educated on this topic.
"So what do you tell him? Usually."
"Things that come into my mind. About my family, myself, stuff like that. For many years I’ve done nothing else but asking him for forgiveness, but I’m past that." He looked at the sky, sunlight and small white clouds reflecting in his eyes, turning them into a caleidoscope of various shades of blue, sometimes even purple. He sighed, but it sounded content. So different from the slight sadness he had seemed to display before his brother’s grave. Maybe it had never been sadness.
"Brother had always said I’d bug him too much with the same stuff over and over again, so I stopped. I don’t want to annoy him anymore, so I switched to things I figured that might interest him if he was still with us. It’s a lot better like that."
Daisuke could not think of a better reply other than “I see”, but that did not matter much because Ken went on, his gaze still at the sky. Why did he not trip over anything like that?
"I hust hope he forgave me. I don’t know, but…"
"I’m sure he did", Daisuke replied. When Ken finally turned to look at him, he threw his biggest grin at his friend. "No wait, I know he did.”
Ken laughed. “Maybe.”
"Let’s go home…"