Author's Note: Hi there! :) Here's another Shenmue story I've had up my sleeve. This is slash so beware. The story takes place about a day before Ryo goes to the harbor, one last time. I know I messed the game up a little bit, but I don't care. :p I always thought Ryo had a day before he left for Hong Kong. It's rated PG, since I've never had a story that has been G. That's all. ^_^;; I have another idea for a story and I plan on posting it pretty soon. I'm also developing a Gui Zhang/Ryo slash, AU. I also have a Fuku/Akemi one and a Ryo centered one. I'm hoping to get more people involved in the Shenmue fan fiction genre. There isn't a whole lot out there and I want to change that. ^.^ As always, please read and review. If you want to flame me, at least have the decency to use proper grammar. One last thing, italics stand for thoughts. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Shenmue or any of its characters. People higher than me own them. (AKA Yu Suzuki)





"Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you
With or without you
With or without you
I can't live
With or without you."
-With or Without You by U2. The inspiration for the story.




"So you really are leaving?"

"Yeah." Silence filled the room again. "You understand why, don't you?"

"No." At least I was honest. "No I don't Ryo-san, I don't understand anything anymore."

"Oh Fuku-san," He sighed. "I wish you would."

"Ryo, take me along." I already know what the answer is.

"Fukuhara, why are you asking me again?" I shifted and sat up in his bed. Tomorrow morning he's supposed to go to Hong Kong. I knew there was no way I could stop him. Once Ryo Hazuki had his mind made up, there was no turning back. I just wish, Oh God did I wish, none of this ever happened.

"Ryo, I don't think I can live without you." I threw my arms around him. I even allowed a few tears to fall. I'm such a crybaby. Some tough warrior Hazuki-sensei made out of me. Here I am babbling and crying about Ryo leaving. I should act strong for him…for us. I feel like such a loser.

"Fuku-kun, please don't cry."

"I can't help it, Ryo. I don't want you to go." I held onto Ryo tighter. It was very late and he should be getting his rest. Like usual, after love making, I always lingered in his room. This night was no exception.

"You have to be strong." Silence. "I need you to look after Ine and the Dojo for me."

"No, Ryo," I whispered. "Hazuki-sensei wanted you to do that, not me. Please for his sake don't leave. He wouldn't want you to do this. Please Ryo, think it over." I hated begging. I hated degrading myself even more than I have to. However, I was not going to let him go so easily. Isn't that what you're supposed to do for the one you love.

Kami-sama only knows how much I love him.

How did this relationship start? I'm not too sure. I've always harbored feelings for Ryo Hazuki. I dismissed them, and believed that Ryo would never think about me that way. I was growing tired of being silent and lingering in the shadows forever. I had to say something to him. Even if these feelings would cost me his friendship. One day out of the blue, I told Ryo how much I loved him. Of course I felt so dirty, since he is like my brother, and the son of my Sensei. Instead of shunning me, or pushing me out like he should have, he admitted his feelings. I don't ever remember being that happy in my entire life.

"Fukuhara, love, we already discussed this." I could tell from his voice he was very much hurt. He didn't like leaving as much as I did.

"Ryo, I don't know what I'll do if you die." A few more tears slid down my cheeks. With a soft patter, they landed on Ryo's chest. You're such a cry baby, Masayuki…

"I won't get myself killed."

"Ryo as much as I want to believe you, I can't." I looked up in his soft brown eyes. With his defenses down, it's so much easier to read what he's thinking. With his hand, he brushed away a couple more tears. Closing my eyes, I remembered how his callused hands caressed my skin. I had to remember. He wouldn't be around any more to touch me like this again. Why, Ryo? Why do you have to do this…?

"Oh Fuku-kun." He kissed my cheek. "My dear, Fuku-kun…"

"I'm scared Ryo, I'm scared of what may happen." Taking in a breath, I slowly exhaled. "I'm scared of never seeing you again."

"Don't talk like that, Fukuhara." He tried to brush away my fears. "Everything will be okay."

Then why do I have a terrible feeling about this?

"Ryo, you know I love you, right?" I had to make sure that he knew. I couldn't live with myself if he never knew. Damn, I sound like one of those actors on television. You know, the ones that are always sobbing because their love left them.

Now I understand where they are coming from.

"Of course I know, Fukuhara." I snuggled closer to his chest. I listened to his heartbeat, so steady, so sure. I wish my life was like that right now. But no, everything is turned upside down. Hazuki-sensei is dead, and soon his son might be joining him. Then what? Say goodbye to the Hazuki tradition.

"Ryo, can I go along with you? Please?"

"No Fuku-kun." I've already asked him this a dozen times. "You just asked me a couple minutes ago. I'm not letting you go with me." Every time I ask him, I always hope that he will one time change his mind. I want to go with him so badly! Sure, I can fight for myself. I just want to go along with him to, you know, keep an eye on him. I bet Hazuki-sensei is disappointed with me. I don't blame him at all. I'm disappointed with myself too. Why?

Ryo was going to Hong Kong, that's why.

Hazuki-sensei wouldn't want him to go after Lan Di. Even in his will, Iwao Hazuki acknowledged he was going to die soon. He knew that Lan Di was coming and there was nothing he could do about it. So why go chasing after him? Stupid, stupid Lan Di! I hate you! First, you killed Hazuki-sensei and soon to be his son.Oh God, if you're up there, please keep a close watch over my Ryo…

As his lover, I feel I let him down. I'm supposed to be the voice of reason in the relationship. I'm supposed to be the one stopping him from chasing these crazy ideas. Here I am, trying to respect Hazuki-sensei's wishes and Ryo won't even listen to me! If he loves his father as much as he does, he won't do this.

"Ryo, please let me go. I want to make sure that you come home in once piece. If you don't…Kami-sama I don't want to think about that…"

"Fukuhara…" He sighed again. "I'm going to be fine. Please stop worrying."

"I wouldn't be a good lover if I didn't." I added quietly.

"You are a good lover. Don't ever think of yourself other wise."

"No I'm not. I'm letting you go." I bit my lip, not wanting to cry again.

"Masayuki Fukuhara," I flinched, I hate it when he uses my full name. "This is my choice, not yours. You and Ine tried your hardest to stop me from going. I made my mind up and I will accept the consequences."

"Even if it means breaking my heart?"

"Fukuhara…" I cried again. I couldn't hold back anymore and I started to sob. Even though Ryo can be cold, behind closed doors he's not. He held on to me, murmuring soft words to me. I felt like I was crying for everyone that ever lost a dear lover to death. Damn, it sounded like I was mourning his death. Why shouldn't I? Ryo was embarking on a suicide mission. I had my doubts about ever seeing him again.

"Ryo…Hazuki-sensei died so you could live." I, like usual, was stating the obvious.

"I know."

"Then why are you doing this?"

"I need answers."

"Ryo…" It was my turn to sigh. "You don't need answers at the expense of your life."

"I know."

"Explain to me why, then, you are risking your life." Every time I brought this subject up, I always felt like I was talking to a brick wall. He never answered me truthfully and he always said 'I know'. He was hiding something from me. What was it? I will admit I have a rather loose tongue. I don't blame him for not being entirely truthful with me. Hell, I'm not truthful with myself. He knows after a couple of drinks, I would tell anyone anything they wanted to hear. So I was more of a hindrance then anything else.

"I can't live with myself. I need to know why." He held me close and ran his hand down my arm. His hands have the capability of taking out a full-grown man. Sure they were riddled with calluses, but I didn't care. His touch was feather light and sent cold shivers down my spine. I am really going to miss him when he's gone.

"Ryo, I wish you didn't have to leave. I wish you could stay with me, forever."

"I know."

"This could be prevented if you don't go."

"No, Fukuhara, I must go." Damn it, I couldn't even trick him into staying. I sighed bitterly. There really was no way I could make him stay. Closing my eyes, I inhaled deeply. I wish time would stop and let me savor these last few hours we have together.

"Ryo?"

"Hm?

"I'm really going to miss you," He kissed me soundly, still holding on to me. I could tell by his body language he would miss me to. This made me wonder, would he met someone else? I don't think I could handle Ryo getting a new lover. I think I would have to kill myself. I love him too much to even…I don't want to think about that.

"Will you do me a favor, Ryo?" He was silent and I assumed he was listening. "Don't find another lover, okay? If you do, will you just break it off with me?"

"What?"

"Don't break my heart, Ryo," I want him so badly to understand where I'm coming from.

"Fukuhara, I would never do something like that. You are my everything." I could feel the salty sting of tears again. That was one of the sweetest things he's ever said to me. Now, Ryo is not the kind of person that can easily express how he is feeling. For him to say something along the lines of that was beautiful. Oh Kami-sama, I feel like such a woman right now! What the hell was wrong with me? I had to stay strong. I don't want my last memories of him to involve me crying.

"Oh, Ryo. I promise I'll wait for you."

"You don't have to," What? Did he just say that? "Live your life. Don't worry about me. I'll call whenever I get the chance." Sitting up, I stared at him. I would never ever think of another person. I smiled and kissed him.

"I'm not that kind of person, Ryo. I will wait."

"Thanks, Fukuhara."

"Ryo," A thought struck me. "Have you said good bye to Ine-san yet?"

"…No…"

"Ryo Hazuki!" I lightly scolded him. "Why didn't you?"

"She doesn't want me to go. She would have stopped me."

"Well I don't want you to go. I'm trying to stop you from leaving, but yet you're still saying good bye." I pointed out.

"You're different."

"How so?" I sat up on my elbows.

"Well, you're a male." I rolled my eyes. I poked his chest with my right index finger.

"That's not an answer, Hazuki."

"I don't want to see her cry." Was that the answer?

"Yet you'll see me cry?"

"Whenever I see Ine, I always see my mother," Oh. I understand. "I don't want to see my 'mother' cry."

That was smart, Masayuki… Ryo's mother was always a touché subject. Any time I brought it up; he would always change the subject. I got him once to tell me about her. She seemed very beautiful. The way Ryo described her she must have been an angel. I wish my mother was an angel; she's more of a harpy. So I really can't blame him. If your mother died and another mother figure came into your life, would you want to see her cry? I always have wondered if she were alive today, what would she think of her son? That's when I got an idea.

"Ryo Hazuki. Since I am your elder, you will stay behind. Got it?" I could feel him chuckle.

"That's really funny, Fukuhara, but I'm still going."

I sighed. "Don't go."

This time, he sighed. "We're not starting this again."

"Fine." I answered, dejectedly. I pouted and still held on to Ryo. I was afraid if I let go, he would have to go to Hong Kong. I used to like mornings, now I don't. They suck. Morning means Ryo going to Hong Kong and I will never see him again. A dull ache kept pounding in my chest when I thought about that. Fun. I have no idea how I'm going to survive.

"Ryo?"

"Yes?"

"You have a busy day tomorrow," I paused. "Maybe we should get some sleep?"

"Sure." I shifted so we both could get comfortable. His bed wasn't very big, but neither was mine. We both could fit, since I have slept in it with him before. In about half an hour, Ryo was sound asleep. I couldn't sleep knowing this could be the very last time I have to sleep with Ryo. He was so sure he would come back from Hong Kong, that is, come back alive. As much as I would love to share his optimism, I couldn't. I kept having a nagging feeling he was in grave danger. Would you sleep knowing your lover could be in trouble?

I should have gotten up and gone back to my bed. Instead, I careful studied Ryo's sleeping form. I think he looked the best sleeping. He was so peaceful; those inner demons couldn't bother him in slumber. I know he hasn't been sleeping well since Hazuki-sensei was killed. Sometimes I could hear him tossing and turning in his sleep. The worst time was about two nights after the 'incident'. I heard him yelling out in his sleep to make his father move. Oh goodness, it was heart breaking listening to him.

Closing my eyes, I tried to fall asleep. I couldn't since I was afraid of missing something. If I fell asleep, I would miss seeing Ryo go. I ingrained every thing about Ryo in my mind. Like how he always has his lips partially open when he's sleeping. He always mumbles something in his sleep, which I find very adorable. I believe he's finally at peace with himself when he sleeps. Even though I'm not terribly bright, I can see how much he's hurting. Hell, even I'm hurting. The death of Hazuki-sensei made the house seem…gloomy. I also noticed how I don't smile as much anymore.

Ryo, don't you realize how much I need you? Please be safe… Along with Nozomi, I've been to the Shrine about a dozen times. I prayed hours on end, making sure that Ryo is safe. Hopefully the spirit of Iwao will keep him safe. Kami-sama must have heard my prayers and will keep an eye on Ryo for me. Even though he is very capable of handling himself, he can be reckless. Placing a soft kiss on his brow, I fell asleep, holding Ryo in my arms.

"Ryo-san!" I ran after Ryo the next morning, hoping I didn't miss him. We had agreed about not saying good-bye in the morning. He didn't want to see me cry and I didn't want to see him cry. Not only that, but behind closed doors, I could give him a good-bye kiss. Luckily he heard me and stopped walking. I slowed my pace down and caught up with him.

"Here," I handed him the envelope. "It's for you from Ine-san…and it's not much but it's from me…" Giving him this letter was harder than I thought. I couldn't go run up and kiss him. I knew Ine-san was standing by us so I had to watch what I did. I didn't want her to find out what we were doing.

"Fuku-san…" Ryo, just go…I don't know how much longer I can stand this…

"Take care, come back in one piece…" Whatever you do, Ryo, don't look back…please don't look back. I looked up at him and I felt the familiar sting of tears. I bowed since I didn't want Ryo to see me cry again. His familiar footfalls slowly left the garden. Ryo closed the door with an air of finality. Sinking to my knees, I lost all self-control. I don't think I've wept that much in a long time.

I felt Ine touch my shoulder and I cried even harder. This made me realize Ryo was actually gone and probably never coming back. I cried for so many things that day. Mostly for Ryo, Hazuki-sensei, and Me. Everything I loved left me and I had nothing. I can't remember when I stopped but Ine-san was still with me.

"Don't worry, Fukuhara-san," She never liked calling me Fuku-san. "Ryo-san will be back." I wish he was back here right now, with Me.

"I know. But I miss him already." My voice was all shaky and teary sounding.

"So do I." Ine said some other soothing words, but I wasn't listening. She went inside and I was left all alone. I was still sitting in the dirt, now silently crying over my absent lover. Even though Ryo had been gone for about twenty minutes at the most, it already felt like an eternity. I finally stopped crying when I ran out of tears. I had cried so much there was nothing left to come out. After a few dry sobs, I managed to calm myself down.

I have no idea how I'm going to survive this, but I must. Standing up on shaky legs, I started at the door, hoping Ryo would come back. I made a promise to myself I'll wait out here everyday, waiting for Ryo. Yes, it was rather childish, but I don't care. I want to be the first thing Ryo sees when he comes back home. I want to be the first person he throws his arms around. I know I was being silly, but I couldn't help it. Slowly making my way back inside the house, I took one last sideways glance at the door.

Ryo, please be safe. Come home soon.





"I never thought you were a fool
But darling look at you
You gotta stand up straight
Carry your own weight
These tears are going nowhere baby."
-Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of by U2.




Fin.