"Hope n' Coffee"

2- The Coat and The Letter

Leo had no idea what time it was. The sun was fair in the sky, but his limbs felt like night had hit. No matter how many times he looked at the broken city, it would not fix itself. It made him feel the need to go home, sleep it off, and wake up to a brand-new yesterday.

Then his eye caught Black coming up over the hill. He looked scuffed, bloodied, but a content still shone in his eyes. Leo didn't need to ask to know that much. Klaus and the rest were somewhere off in the distance, not too far though. That was when Leo finally caught up.

“Black!” His voice held as much warmth as shame as he called the name of White’s brother. He was someone who still puzzled Leo, but he felt he knew enough. There was at least some bond between them, even after White's death.

“Leo!” Black sounded happy, and that was good enough for him. It came natural, and his arms enveloped Black as they shared a hug. It only felt right, as the two remaining people in the world who could remember her.

As he pulled away from Black he could see a smile as strong as the one on his own face. It was such an ironic world, and even so he held nothing against it. “Long day, hero?” There was a hint of exasperation as there was jest in Black’s words. It lifted Leo’s spirits.

“Ha… You wouldn’t believe,” Leo countered. They both started laughing, and it felt like forever since he last had. It was full, so unlike the past events of the day. It was one that made him forget, even if for a moment the sorrow and grief and despair. He needed to remember.

"News reporters can be a pain, " Black stated with joyful scorn in his voice.

"Ah, so that's where you were."

“...I need to do this.”

“I know. Go ahead and finish what you need, you can meet with us later. I’ll give you the new HQ point. We have a lot of work on our hands.”

“Thank you, Klaus.”

It wasn’t a difficult decision, but not too easy either. Perhaps that was why Leo knew they didn’t feel the need to speak, not at that moment. They walked as survivors through the destruction and turmoil of the city. In silence underneath broken shards of glass, and buildings torn from their foundations. It was a fitting spot of both the beginning and end, as the stage curtain had not closed. That was why they went back. Leo didn’t need directions, as he might as well know the place by heart. He knew Black didn’t either.

The hospital looked like nothing compared to a day ago. It was in near ruins. The windows lay jagged and wild, roof smashed to bits, and not a sight of untouched vegetation. If anything it looked centuries into the future of the building compared to yesterday. Even less, when he thought about it. The grove leading to the graveyard was at least traversal. They both found little trouble stepping through the destruction.

The graveyard was in even worse condition, considering how old it was anyway. Most of the graves seemed untouched, and a bench or two lay the same. He didn’t know where Black wanted to go, just here, so he kept following. They walked into the Church, with its stone walls and floors, and vine overgrowth. It was ironic in the most horrible sense, with this being his second time coming here.

Leo observed the inside. Wait, something caught his eye. It was a gravestone cross-like in pattern, and completely untouched. As Black led them up to it, he realized it was clean on the front and had no name of a deceased. It was surreal in a sense.

“You ready, hero?”

“Mm." Black seemed to be using that nickname more and more now, and Leo would be lying if he said it didn't irritate him.

Black gave a light laugh, turning and looking at Leo as they stood before the grave. “Our savior in denial. It's okay, Leonardo Watch. ”

Black had sensed his discomfort. Leo stared at him in silence, his brain trying to describe his emotions. He couldn't think of anything to say. He was stuck.

Black's eyes turned to a more series tone. “I couldn’t lie to you. White would end up strangling me. I couldn't do that to her, since your a good guy, Leo.”

Black then proceeded to slip his coat off. Swoosh. It landed on the grave in one quick motion, precise and half draped. Blue on brownstone, and a symbol of her death.

Then Black looked back at him, with his genuine awakened, sky blue eyes. Leo knew he had heard those words before, and it moved his heart. In that moment, Leo couldn’t understand the feeling he felt so intense. They could remember her. His senses stopped him though, because if he cried here, he was sure to take the humiliation to his grave.

Over a year later:

He went back and visited her grave a few weeks ago, as he sometimes does. There were bright crimson roses adorning it. He asked around, nobody knew who placed them there. He wished he could thank them.

Libra had returned to normal in a span of around a month, which some considered impressive. Those "some" including Leo. Not to mention he was still getting gratitude he didn't feel he deserved.

HQ wasn't that different from before, still being a hidden high-rise building. Plants of all size and shape had been stuffed at the walls and hanged from the ceiling. With every time he came back, a new plant would appear.

Klaus formed his own gardening group, full of neighbors and citizens of all ages. One day Klaus walked up and stated he should come, and Leo did. Zapp was still intent on destroying Klaus, but his plans still failed everytime. Disputes occurred between Zapp and Chain, some more mild than others. Zed came to help on more occasions then needed. Leo knew he liked it here, but he wouldn't say that aloud.

If Leo would be writing a paper, he would say everything had turned almost normal again. As normal as it gets around Libra. Although that he knew, was always a short-lived and cliche statement.

No, Leo had a problem. Letters to Michella had been getting harder to write. Ever since his first letter sent after everything, he felt stronger, confident, and independent. Even with that courage though, he felt they were thrown to the trash too often.

It was a Saturday, around 6:40 when he got home. After the barrier was re-made, he was able to find a new apartment. It was small and a little cramped, but it did him good.

He checked his mail as he does everyday when he gets home. There was a letter not written by him.

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