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Bitter Fruits

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The trip to the police station was promising. While there was little to go on from the letters themselves, as they were unsigned and no evidence was found on them, the fact that Takashi was a war hero had the police eagerly offering to station an unmarked car out the front of their house for the following week. Hopefully another letter would be dropped off during that time and they could catch the person or persons responsible.

Curtis was just glad the issue was being taken seriously and not brushed off. He wasn’t mentioned by name in the letters, only referred to with slurs or other offensive monikers. But the threats were clearly directed towards him.

As they left the station and walked out into the bright sun, Takashi wrapped his arm around Curtis’ waist and pulled him into his side.

“I got a message from Keith asking if we wanted to meet up for breakfast at that cafe you like. You feeling up to it sweetheart?”

He was feeling a bit drained, but perked up at the idea of seeing one of their closest friends. Keith wasn’t often stationed on Earth, as he spent a lot of time on humanitarian missions with the Blade. It would be good to see him again and hear all about what he’d been up to.

“That sounds lovely Takashi.” He smiled brilliantly at his husband, who immediately took out his phone to let Keith know they were on their way.

The cafe was close to the police station and they made their way there quickly, securing a table and ordering their usual breakfast spread as they waited for their friend to arrive.

“Hey you two!” Keith called as he approached, the food arriving at the same time, “How’ve you been?”

Curtis smiled as the younger man dropped into the chair across from them, a big grin on his face. It really was good to see him again.

“We’ve been having a bit of the usual trouble, but I’m done letting that cloud hang over my head. Let’s just enjoy our time together today, tell us what you’ve been up to with the Blade.”

Keith’s eyes momentarily flickered with concern at the mention of the trouble they’d been having, but he understood what Curtis was trying to do. After loading his plate, he started telling the two men about the various humanitarian missions he’d been on over the past few months, in between mouthfuls of sweet, fresh fruits.

Suddenly he started coughing and reached for his napkin, spitting out the piece of melon he’d just popped in his mouth.

“Ugh, these melons are so bitter.”

Takashi quickly poured him a glass of water and leaned over to gently rub his back, while Curtis grabbed a piece of melon to try for himself.

“Blech! Oh wow, you’re right, these are awful. Such bitter melons.”

Takashi laughed at the two of them as they quickly downed water to get rid of the terrible taste the bitter melons had left in their mouths. Soon all three were laughing. They weren’t going to let a few bitter melons ruin their day.

The melons were left untouched and ended up in the trash.