So what if you are? So what if you are a “tool”?

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Yuki: Been a while since I dreamed about that…

Yuki hasn’t really had a chance to talk about what he wants to do after school (even though Kyo and Tohru had a chat last chapter), but it’s still weighing on his mind, if for different reasons than the others.

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But of course there’s no talking about much of anything with Aaya around, and Yuki isn’t exactly in the best mood after that dream.

Shigure: You look like you’re about to collapse, Yuki-kun, so I’ll make this quick. Aaya came over especially to see you.

Ayame: That’s right! For some reason I got sidetracked, but I do have business with you. You see, the thing is –

Yuki: Wait. Keep it simple. Make sure it’s concise, easy to understand, and only stick to pertinent details.

Ayame: You’re taking all the fun out of it.

Yuki: That’s fine! I’m not looking to have fun! Simple is the key word!

Ayame: Simple…simple, huh? Hmm…Do you think I should bring a gift?

Yuki: What are you talking about?

Ayame: Excuse me? I tried to make it simple, just as you ordered.

Yuki: That’s simple to the point of being incomprehensible!

Ayame: Your problem is you’re spoiled, dear brother.

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Yuki attempts to flee the madness by running off to his secret base, but the madness follows him.  And transforms due to the excessive summer heat.  But when Yuki rips his shirt and Aaya offers him the use of his portable sewing kit, they manage to sit down and talk relatively peacefully.  It turns out Ayame heard about Yuki’s parent-teacher conferences and came to offer to go in place of their parents.

Yuki: That’s okay…I’ll have Mom and Dad come…

Ayame: You’re not even in touch with them, are you? In fact, you’re not fond of them in the slightest.

Yuki: I wouldn’t say that. It’s more like – I don’t expect anything from them. Nor do I want anything. Not after everything…not from the people who essentially sold me for their own benefit. They practically sold me like a convenient tool they had on hand – what expectations would I have for them? Even so, if I do call them in for the parent-teacher conference, they may try to tame me again. That would be a pain. A real hassle. That’s all I think of when I think of them.

Talking about your parents is one thing that’s always easier to do with a sibling, if only because there’s never much context necessary.

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Ayame: (internally) Really, I’m no better. I also sold you, more or less, in exchange for my own freedom. In exchange for many things, I hurt so many people. Ignored them, neglected them…what a fool I was.

He saw at least some of the abuse Yuki endured, but he was still a child himself, so he just taught himself not to care, to look the other way, because it was easier that way.  It’s hard to blame him for that, but Ayame does still blame himself.

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Yuki: But just running away isn’t the answer. I’ll call them. Our parents. But I haven’t decided what I’m going to do after high school yet. I need to sort things out for myself first, so I don’t give them the opportunity to say something I’ll regret.

For some people (like myself), it just takes a long time to separate what you like doing from what you feel you’re expected  to do, especially when you’ve got very opinionated people breathing down your neck with high expectations. But Aaya offers some surprisingly sound career advice (I guess I should stop being surprised that the adults actually have their share of wisdom).

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Ayame: Yes, great! I’ll just talk about myself! For example, why I chose my lyrical, romantic profession. It’s because I wanted to try creating something. I possess charismatic refinement befitting a member of a royal family, and yet there are times when even I lack confidence. And so I felt a great need to “create.” Anything at all…something good. As it turns out, dressmaking was right up my alley, but in the beginning, I would’ve been happy with cooking, gardening, whatever. I simply wanted to prove to myself that I had the power to produce something. To prove that I could make something new with my own hands. Maybe I wanted to know that there was something that wouldn’t exist without me. Yuki, I don’t know what our parents will say, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is how you feel. It’ll be okay. You’re nobody’s “tool.” Even someone like me has someone who’s always there for them, so I’m sure you’ll be fine. You’re not as alone as you think.

That’s a very different artistic ambition than my own, but I guess it only makes sense that a person whose worldview is so wildly different would create art for different reasons, too.

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Yuki: Nii-san, like I said, you’re an idiot – but you’re no fool.

Ayame: (internally) It’s a shame they’re living their lives without realizing that Yuki is such a good kid.

It’s great to see the two of them starting to build a sort of brotherly rapport.  What’s important is that they can actually listen to each other (to a certain extent) and communicate meaningfully.

You’re nobody’s tool. You’re not alone. Not anymore.

Until next time…

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