“You know, most people would be surprised to see a talking cat!”
“Most people aren’t playthings for a cherub.”
Cupid hissed at Ren, jumping down the window and then onto the bed in front of Ren, gracefully.
Ren held up the golden ticket.
“I guess you’re here to explain this?”
“Yes, I am,” Cupid nodded. “That’s a very special ticket, you see. It gives you, and only you, the ability to summon me no matter where you are - but only once.”
Ren placed a hand on his hips.
“I thought we could summon you just by calling you.”
Cupid shook his little paw.
“What ever gave you that idea?”
“I dunno,” Ren shrugged. “You came when Emma called you before, and you came right now when I said I was going to burn this thing.”
Ren sat on the bed next to him, looking at the ticket again.
“What would I need this for, anyway? Are there any more hidden rules I need to know about?”
Cupid instantly approached him, rubbing his head on Ren’s elbow by instinct.
“No, no. No more rules. Make Agatha or Adam fall in love and don’t fall for anyone else. That’s all.”
Ren frowned, looking at him, but said nothing.
“Yeees? What’s that face for, my little jaybird?”
“...You’re very cruel, you know that.”
Cupid pulled his head away from Ren, offended.
“Moi? How so?”
“You’re Cupid. Figure it out.”
For a second, Cupid stared into Ren’s eyes.
Ren wasn’t looking at him, and it didn’t take long for Cupid to understand his conflicted thoughts.
He sat and curled his tail around his paws.
“...Ah. I get it. Is this about me forcing you to ignore your ‘real’ feelings - feelings I am obviously aware of?”
“Like I said, you had your chance. Those feelings you hold so dear died with you in that accident.”
“You know they didn’t.”
“Alright, you caught me. And what are you going to do about it, then? Are you going to ignore the rules and follow your heart?”
Ren tightened his fingers around the corners of the ticket.
So he said, knowing full-well he didn’t make a move in years and probably wasn’t going to any time soon.
“Good for you, child, but you’ll get taken to Heaven right then and there, I can tell you that. And then who’s going to help your dear Emma through all of this?”
“Hehe. You can’t afford to not follow the rules when you don’t know which of your companions holds the guillotine, can you.”
Ren scowled, finally looking at Cupid.
“Why are you doing this?”
“You asked me that already. Are we going through this same song and dance all over again?”
“I just think there must be another reason. I doubt it’s normal for a cherub to do all this just because they’re bored.”
Cupid’s cat eyes flared up the moment he heard that.
He stood up on his four legs, looking at Ren as he spoke.
“What do you know about Heavenly Beings, hm? You don’t know what’s normal for us or what isn’t. Frankly, you could never comprehend our way of life no matter how hard you tried. You humans, who twisted and watered down our existence into something marketable and malleable like clay that you could mold to fit your human hands… What could you possibly know about us? About me? If I said I’m doing it because I’m bored, then that’s that!”
Ren was taken aback, but all he did was blink and listen.
He turned his head away from Cupid and stood back up. He wasn’t in the mood to be lectured, if that’s what asking about this ticket was going to get him.
“...I guess I do know nothing about you.”
“That’s right, you don’t know a thing,” Cupid huffed.
“But…” Ren turned to look at him again. “I do know you’re not as selfish as you’re trying to make us think you are.”
“You saved us all, even though you didn’t have to. You call us your failures, but you keep trying to fix us instead of tossing us aside… Am I wrong?”
Cupid was shocked to hear this.
He was expecting Ren to dismiss him and ignore his speech as he walked away, but instead he stayed, and didn’t even call Cupid out on his outburst.
He couldn’t help but smile to himself.
“...No comment, little jaybird.”
Ren sighed, then waved the ticket once more.
“Anyway, why are you giving me this? Why would we need to summon you?”
Cupid licked his paw.
“There’ll come a time when you need it. Sooner than you think, actually. Maybe even today.”
“Huh? Today? Is something gonna happen today?”
Cupid stretched, then sat back up with his tail gently swishing back and forth.
“Tell me Mr. Voice of the People, do you think love takes time to bloom, or do you think it can blossom in a single day?”
“Huh?” Ren was blindsided by that question, but he still scrambled his brain for an answer. “…I guess it takes time?”
“Oh you do, don’t you? And how long, exactly, do you think it takes?”
“How would I know that?”
He tilted his furry head at Ren.
“If you don’t know, then how come you’re so sure it can’t happen in one day, or even at first sight?”
“Because that’s— not love, right? That’s just… attraction or something.”
Cupid shook his head.
“Attraction can easily turn into love. What’s more, for some people, attraction is love.”
Ren made a face.
“Isn’t that too shallow?”
“Shallow or not, who are you to determine what other people value the most? Love is love, either way.”
Hearing this, Ren’s shoulders slumped.
“...So then Julius was right, huh. Establishing a friendship is the same as nurturing love, so it’s just as valid as anything else...”
“Then this whole thing might end even sooner than expected…”
“...And you’re enjoying this, huh.”
“Oh, so very much.”
Ren held back his tongue from actually saying it. He shook his head and placed the ticket in his pocket.
“I’m guessing you didn't ask me about love all of a sudden for no reason?”
Cupid gave him a cryptic smile - his bell chiming quietly as his tail moved.
“I just wanted you to keep that in mind - that love can either take roots with slow, gentle nurturing, or instantly explode like fireworks. All it takes is a little spark.”
Ren was quiet.
Cupid’s words were ominous and dangerous, but they served as a reminder that he didn’t have any time to waste.
He turned around and grabbed the water bottle he originally had come back for.
Without saying goodbye to Cupid, he quickly went outside to meet with Adam.
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