Disclaimer:  X is owned by CLAMP!  Not by me!  I could never hope to aspire to their greatness!  I do not and will never own X, or any of the associated characters, and I am not making money off of this fanfic.

A/N: Arashi/Sorata fluff.  I had a bunch of dialogue running through my head one night, and I figured I should write it down before I forgot it all.  This fic took me an hour and a half of straight typing.  And, unlike most of my stories, this fanfic was written COMPLETELY IN ORDER! (ooo, ahhh)  Anyway, on with the story!

Till Death Do Us Part

It was 12:00 at night, and I was crying again.  I was lying flat on top of the futon stretched across the floor, stifling my tears with my pillow.  I seem to have been doing that a lot since—since he left.  I still can't bring myself to even think the word.  It's been almost six months.  I must be so pathetic.

A boy talked to me on the street today.  Asked if I wanted to have some ice cream in the park with him.  I looked at him for a moment with startled eyes, then fled, running from the poor, confused boy as fast as my legs could carry me.  He must have been surprised, and I must have come off as very rude, but I couldn't help it.  All I could think of was him.  Had we ever gone on a true date, during the time we were together?  Had we ever gone to the park, had an ice cream, sat on a bench under the sun?  The answer to that, of course, is no.  Not once.  Never.  My tears redoubled.  I had never been one to cry this much, but then, I had never felt this way before I met him.

I took a deep breath, forced down my sobs, and wiped my eyes, telling myself to be strong.  I sat up, and my eyes flicked around my small apartment, taking in the familiar, comforting details.  I had been renting an apartment in Tokyo ever since 1999, trying to support myself as a freelance writer.  I had really never thought of a career as a writer before, but after 1999 I didn't want to return to the shrine.  I could never go back to the way I used to be.

I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, centering myself and relaxing my mind as I had done so much in my training at the temple.  I needed sleep.  I needed to be alert tomorrow.  I breathed deeply again, and lowered myself onto the pillow, trying to empty my mind.

I don't remember if I succeeded, or if I even fell asleep.  But sometime later, I heard a soft voice right beside me.

"Neechan.  Neechan."

There was only one person who had ever called me that with that tone of voice.  My eyes shot open, and I found myself staring into a face I thought I would never see again.


Sometimes I cursed my upbringing.  I loved the man, I had even slept with him, yet still he was "-san".  There seemed to be no way to take that horrible "-san" out of my vocabulary.

"Hey," he said softly, running a hand through my hair.  I had it cut since 1999, since—since he—  It was fairly short, now, just brushing my shoulders.  "I missed you."

With a sob, I flung myself at him, wrapping my arms around his broad, muscular frame and burying my face in his chest.  "I missed you, too.  I've been so lonely."

"Shh," he whispered comfortingly, holding me with one arm and stroking my hair with the other.  "Don't cry, Neechan.  Don't be sad."

"How can I not be?" I whispered, my words muffled by his shirt.  "You're gone."

He pulled me up, then, taking my face gently between his hands and looking me squarely in the eye.  "That's part of why I came today, Neechan.  I hate it when you're sad, especially because of me.  I love you, and the only thing I want right now is for you to b happy and healthy.

"That can't happen if you cling to my memory, Neechan.  You need to move on.  I saw what happened today.  You can't keep shutting yourself away from people.  Date, fall in love, get married, start a family, all the things a normal girl would do.  I want you to be happy, Neechan.  I died so that you would be happy."

I gasped.  He had said it.  He had said the word I had been skirting around for six months.  Dead.  He was dead, and he was not coming back.  Another tear fell, and he gently wiped it away.

"I'll never forget you."

"I know."

A light seemed to be growing behind him.  He suddenly clutched me tightly.

"My time is almost up.  I have to go, soon."

I pulled him tighter.  "I love you—Sorata."

He smiled, noticing the lack of a "-san".  "I love you, too, Arashi."

The light behind him had intensified, flowed, pieced together to form the shape of a slender boy we both knew.  Long, white-feathered wings trailed from his back, and he wore a peaceful expression I had never seen on his face while he was alive.

"We have to leave, Sorata," the boy-angel said softly.

"I know, Kamui," Sorata whispered, slowly pulling away from me.

"I love you," I repeated.

Light seemed to solidify around him.  I squinted, and when I could see again, two long, graceful wings trailed down his back.  He turned to look back at me, his small brown eyes full of hope.  For both of us.

"I love you," he whispered, one last time.  "I love you.  Good bye."

The light swelled, and I felt as though I was wrapped in warm arms.  Content, I closed my eyes and fell asleep.

When I awoke the next morning, I lay awake, staring at the ceiling.  Had last night been real?  Had I been dreaming?  Perhaps wishful thinking by my subconscious?  Had I really seen him?  It seemed impossible, now, in the cold, clear light of day.  I sighed, and sat up.  It had been a wonderful dream, though.

I glanced over to the place where my love had stood as he said his last goodbyes, as if to prove to myself that nothing had happened.  My breath froze in my throat.

There, sitting on the plain beige floor, was a single white feather.

A/N:  Yay, all done.  What'd you think?  If you've bothered to get this far, please leave a review!  I'd appreciate it very much!