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[Gankutsuou] "Golden Days of Summer" (PG)

Author's Note: Written for [community profile] fic_promptly's Gankutsuou, Franz/Albert/Eugenie, the beach. Inspired by an actual day I had at Northampton Beach, New Hampshire.

A day at the beach, waning into early evening: a storm had risen up in the northwest, blotting out half the sky with purple thunderheads, flickers of lightning flashing within them, sometimes darting between the clouds and the far horizon, a dim rumble following some long moments later. The rest of the sky glowed golden, lit by the sunset, reflecting off the sea, now at low tide, and the damp sand below the tidal line.

The three of them had spent the day racing about the sand and diving between the waves, but now they lay on the sand just above the tidal line, Franz's head angled close to Eugenie's shoulder, Albert's arm pillowing her neck. The sand under the blanket on which they lay had started to cool as the sunlight waned, but it held enough warmth that they could feel it through the soft terry cloth.

"It's so calm, the sea looks like part of the sky and the land," Franz noted.

"Like the sky in one of those Russian icons you see in the museums," Eugenie said.

"I thought it was like one of those snow globes they make for the tourists," Albert said.

Franz poked his head up and darted a teasing look at Albert. "Oh? with little gulls flying around when someone shakes it up? Waiting for some giant to come along and give this place a shake?"

"I meant the way the sky and the sea and the sand all look like glass," Albert shot back. "Don't spoil it with your jokes, Franz."

"Boys, we just had a lovely day: let's not spoil it by fighting over metaphors," Eugenie said, darting looks at her two friends. "Both work just fine."

"I was thinking of a snow globe, I guess, because I wish I could bottle up this moment and save it," Albert said, turning his gaze to the sky above, a hint of pink melding into the gold. "We're young and it's the end of summer; the next school term is just around the corner, but... I'd like to keep this day close at hand, so we can recall every bit of it when things get tough or tedious."

"You know there are VR simulations that could mimic a day like this," Franz said.

"That would help, but would it be the same? It's the way moments like this pass by that makes them valuable: VR would just cheapen it," Eugenie said.

"Or someone could paint it as a picture, like one of those icons you talked about," Albert put in.

"Or you could write a song about it," Franz said.

Overhead, the gold had started to darken, the pink bleeding into it even further, turning it to purple as the evening deepened. "Maybe," Eugenie said, sitting up slowly, turning her face up to the clouds. "We'd better head back: that sky isn't very inviting."

"Not unless you wanted to compose a song about a storm," Franz said, getting up.

"Just one moment longer?" Albert said.

"Not unless you want to get caught in the storm," Franz shot back.


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