~~~Disclaimer: I don't own hyd or any of the characters! This fic takes place during Tsukasa's bout with Amnesia. What if Tsukushi tried to pull of yet another of her infamously stupid decisions to leave him for Rui?

Warning: this is version 2.0, edited and revised. The first 18 chapters are pretty much the same-- with only minor edits and formatting fixes. Really, I should have cut ch 17-19, but I was too lazy to rewrite them, so I just changed the end of 19. Also, so I don't get sued for theft of any other intellectual property rights, the lyrics that preface chapters 1-10 are all from the song Falling to Pieces, by Faith No More. Anyway, I promise, this time, I'll try to finish the damned thing. Really. ~cm~~~

. . . Back and forth, I sway with the wind

Resolution slips away again

Right through my fingers, back into my heart

Where it's out of reach and it's in the dark. . .

"You can lean on me now". The words echoed over, and over again in Tsukushi's head, as she leaned into Rui's strong embrace. Standing there, feeling his heart beating close to her face, she reflected bitterly on the tricks life kept playing on her.

It can't go on like this. . . Every time something goes wrong, I always come running back to him. . .

"It's just not right!!"

With this outburst, Tsukushi finally raised her tear-streaked face from Rui's chest. He gazed back down at her, and waited for her to speak her piece, as usual.

"You know how I feel-- how can you let me use you this way? It's not normal! How can you be so complacent to be my crutch, when you know I love him? What the hell is wrong with you??" Once again, she failed to keep the tears down.

Goddamnit, I didn't start to cry so much before I met these guys. I used to be happy. I used to be stable. And look at me now --- I've fallen so far the last few years. Why have I been cursed to be their pet?

Rui grinned at her, "That's more like it! Such spirit. That's what I was waiting for." She could only stare at his stupid happy face, her eyes big as platters.

I will never understand men. Tsukushi thought stupidly, as she looked up at him. And why is he looking at me like that? Have I grown two heads or something?

"You shouldn't make such faces at me." Rui teased her.

"Why not? You let me do everything else to you, why shouldn't I be able to make whatever faces I want, as well?" Tsukushi began to recover from her depression enough to respond acidly.

"Because, you fool, it only makes me want to do this..." And with these words, Rui bent down, raising her chin with one hand, as he did so, and kissed her in that slow, gentle way of his. Even though she was at last beginning to get used to this kind of behavior, Tsukushi still freaked out in her usual way. As she backed away, yammering all kinds of nonsense, Rui just watched with a dreamy glow in his marbled eyes.

Shit, he did it again. I feel like I'm cheating on Doumyouji every time Rui kisses me, even though right now that idiot's probably flirting with that irritating bitch [Umi] right now. Makino fumed, despite her confusion.

"Will you stay on the topic, you bastard! And don't do that, it bothers me!" she finally yelled.

"Does it really bother you that much?" Rui asked wistfully.

No, actually, the way you touch me, it always makes me feel calmer . . It's the sort of thing I wish Doumyouji and I could have-- a perfect moment of peace where time suspends itself.

Seeing Makino look like she was wavering, Rui crossed the room to her and tried to take her in his arms again. But she only turned her back, relenting just a little at the last moment before he let go, to lean back into his embrace.

"I wish we could go back in time, before things got so complicated. . ."

"Things between us have always been complicated." Rui reminded her.

"And they never get any simpler, do they?"

Not like it would matter anyway. Things would still turn out the same: me in love with Doumyouji, but needing Hanazawa Rui to watch over me. Using him over and over again when life gets rough.

"What are you thinking of?" Rui continued to stare down at her from his great height.

"Doumyouji and I; you and I; you and Shizuka. What a mess we've all made of each other's lives. . .

. . . What will you do when Doumyouji remembers me, and if he still wants me after all this?"

Rui's eyes darkened and a melancholy look moved across his face. "I'll be here waiting, when you need me again," he replied seriously.

"Idiot! You can't wait here, this is my house!" Tsukushi nervously chattered in an attempt to fill the silence.

Why can't I love Rui again? He's always so good to me, and good for me too, I think. . .

"And what do you mean, 'when'?" she burst out in exasperation.

He doesn't think we can live a happy life. . . Sometimes, I think he's right. No matter how hard we try, no matter how many times we triumph, we never quite reach a plateau where we can just stop and rest a while. . . At least, not when we're together. .

Because I think. . .

. . . I find my plateau whenever Rui's standing beside me.

And right now, Doumyouji doesn't even remember me, or want me around. And. . . . I can only fight so much . . . for so long... I . .

"I'm . . . tired. . . Rui, tired of fighting all the time. Sometimes i need to stop, and recover myself. I want to give up. I know you don't like to see that side of me; you and everyone else who believes in me. But please don't hate me when I say... I don't want to fight anymore."

The bare room was still and quiet. Tsukushi and Rui stood as still as statures in the darkening gloom, while behind them on the wall, the last rays of sunlight illuminated the pressed flowers, hanging, framed, upon the wall. Slowly Tsukushi turned around in Rui's arms until she faced him. He continued to gaze serenely at her.

"You know I could never hate you."

Not today maybe, but. . . someday. . . she fretted again.

"I need you to be here for me, always." Tsukushi continued, "I know that's wrong of me . . . but. . ."

Suddenly her eyes lit upon the flowers, and she remembered his happy eyes in New York-- happy to be with her, despite her faraway glances and constant sighing for his best friend; Tsukasa -- the man who had abandoned her in a foreign city with no explanation, or any kind of kind word; the man who had made her heart feel like it was shattering into a billion tiny pieces, while Rui had stood by her, thoughtfully, indulgently, caringly, while she cried. It had been a bad time for Rui to express his love, but it had moved her all the same.

Why does it have to be like this? Doumyouji breaks my heart again and again. No matter how we try, we always hurt each other. Rui is always there for me, and he never hurts me. Maybe… maybe if I could learn to love him again, my heart would not feel so bad?

I can do this, I can change! I will give up on Doumyouji! She pasted a smile upon her face, looked brightly up at Rui, and

"I have a present for you!"

"Eh?" Rui looked completely bemused by this turn of events. Tsukushi reached up, took his face in her hands.

"You've done so much for me, I want to make you happy for once!" she exclaimed as she pulled him down to kiss him.

Huh?! This is unexpected, Rui thought in some shock. However, before he had time to think too hard about what was really going on here, his passions, normally kept well suppressed beneath his silent exterior, kicked in, and he responded by deepening the kiss and tightening their embrace.

But only briefly. As Rui gazed down into Tsukushi's eyes, he saw what he'd known he'd find; a glint of artificiality, the telling sheen of 'trying too hard.' Seeing this, he reluctantly broke off the kiss and backed off.

Tsukushi, feeling him back away, tensed up even more, Should I have done that? he's even a better kisser than Doumyouji— Where was he practicing all these years? Her heart pounded, as she worried about the consequences of her foolishness.

Rui paused, ruffling his hand through his hair, "Well, that was . . . unexpected. You don't have to force yourself, you know. I'll be here whether you love me or not. I'm happy just being around you. Though I would rather you stopped trying to act like someone you aren't." He finished sternly.

Tsukushi felt like she was about to crumble to the floor. I don't know whether I should feel rejected or relieved. Shit, I think I'm gonna cry again, if I don't do something quickly.

Tsukushi burst out with the first thing that came to mind, "You are so not normal Hanazawa Rui... That must be why I like you so much!"

Well, at least that filled the silence. I'm such an idiot. Stupid. Stupid! Tsukushi berated herself as she pulled herself together.

Seeing that whatever moments of doubt were dissipating, and that Tsukushi was starting to return to her normal self, Rui teased, "I think I'd like to try that again." as he moved in as if to kiss her again.


Tsukushi, now that the moment had passed, reverted back into character and started inching away.

"No! What are you doing! Pervert!"

"That's what I thought. You don't need to act in front of me!" Rui responded. Though, his expression was faintly mocking, sadness cast its shadow across his face as well, as he knew without a doubt, that here was another girl whose heart would probably never belong to him the way his did to her.

Looking at his overcast expression, Tsukushi again sank into indecision. Shit! Why can't I do what I meant to? I want to choose Rui. I really do. I want to opt out of the chaos that my life's become. Why can't I?

And. . . . I have to admit. . . It did feel good. . .

So, let's try again. I made a decision and I will stick to it. Makino's rationalization for what she was about to do next was truly not to be believed, but like the rest of humanity, she could be incredibly stupid when she was trying to convince herself of something she already knew to be untrue.

"Rui," she whispered looking up at him again, " I really do want to be with you. I know, I want Doumyouji more, but I don't need him like I need you. Please will you stay with me tonight?"

"Don't force yourself," Rui replied bitterly, turning away again and heading for the door. Makino stared after him briefly, then

"Wait!" she yelled and rushed after him.

"What for?" Rui turned around, slouching moodily, his hands thrust deep into his pockets. "What are you doing this to me for? Why are you playing with my heart? Can't you let me be, and accept my love, without torturing me with this bizarre behavior?"


"If I thought you meant any of the shit you were spouting just now, I'd be over you so fast you wouldn't know what hit you," he spat out bitterly. Tsukushi gasped as she remembered that scene from so long ago-- that time on Doumyouji's yacht where she'd spied on Rui dragging Shizuka off to his cabin. . .

"I meant what I said," Tsukushi took her stand. This time I won't freak out. I won't I won't I won't. Deliberately she crossed over to where he was standing, and, quite forcefully, grabbed his collar, and slammed him back against the wall, pinning him there with her body, and with her lips against his. For a few seconds, Rui was numb with shock. But at last, he heaved a mental shrug, and gave in to his desire; wrapping his arms around her slender back and pulling her closer. As the embrace went on, one hand began to explore lower down her back, a smooth caress reaching her hips and ass. Tsukushi stiffened briefly at this more intimate touch, but determinedly went on with their epic kiss. As she broke off at last, her face flushed, and eyes glowing., Rui reversed his caress, sliding his hand up under her shirt, until he reached her bra. Tsukushi resolutely began planting kisses down his jaw and neck, though inwardly she was nearly paralyzed with nervousness and dismay over her actions. Just as Rui's nimble fingers had succeeded in unhooking her bra, there came a noise from the door. . .