I took one of NSNYC songs and put it in this story. Standard disclaimers apply, Lyrics belong to NSYNC. The other song I use is Never Had A Dream Come True by S Club 7. Standard disclaimers apply, Lyrics belong to S Club 7. Also I took part of another writers story, I want thank Batdz Angel for the end to this story. I couldn't think of a great ending until I read his/her story; Never Say Goodbye. Thanks again! I hope you don't mind Batdz Angel! – Alkvingiel

The Heat Goes Out and Tears Fall

"Morning Mea, did you sleep well?" Ryo asked.

"Yes I did, very well. Especially without being woken up by Kento snoring," Mea answered with a laugh as she gave him a peck on the check. Ryo and Mea were the only ones left in the house; Cye, Kento, and Rowen were all gone off at collage or in Sage's case back to his parents. They were getting up in years and needed up with things around the house. Mea watched Ryo as he cooked her eggs just the way she liked them and thought how cute he was. He was always been going out of his way for her. This morning when she had woken up she found a dozen roses beside her bed. They had been going out for the past 3 months; he loved her so much that he let her wear the locket his mother and father had given him as a young boy. Wearing it showed any guy that she was his girlfriend and if they tried to lay a hand on her they'd have some major trouble. But something was on her mind, she didn't want to because she loved him so much but… it was all she could do. Ryo gave her plate and then sat down across from her. They had been eating in silence until she spoke what she was thinking. "I think we should break up for awhile Ry," She told him.

"Nani! Demo, naze da?" Ryo asked in Japanese, he was shocked.

"I just want us to go out and meet new people. We've known each other since the first battle with Talpa began. And I think this relationship is really a friendship. We need to test our feelings. Will you do this for me please?" She asked looking into his tiger blue eyes and taking his hand. He looked away from her eyes and jerked his hand away from her grasp.

"Test your feelings if you must, I can't hold you back. But I want you to know I don't have to test my feelings, I know who I love and that is the person I will always love," Ryo explained getting up and walking toward the door picking up the keys to his car he turned back to her and said, "I never had any dreams come true… Until the day I found you… remember that," And then he was gone. She heard the car start and drive away, she hadn't meant to hurt him that bad; slowly tears formed in her eyes and fell down her cheeks. Later that night he returned because he had no where else to go, but didn't say a word to her even when she tried to talk to him. Going to bed she didn't say goodnight but he whispered it. They both cried themselves to sleep.

The next morning when she got up Ryo was already gone. He'd left cereal out for her and there was a note posted on the frig. She read it and was glad that he at least left her a note. But what hurt was that he signed it with just Ryo, when they had been going out and he was gone before she got up he always left sweet things in his note and signed it, Love Rekka No Ryo. But this time there were no sweet things and he hadn't signed it with his original Japanese name. Mea was about to leave but she felt something missing. She thought that she had everything but then she looked over to the table beside the telephone. Laying there sparkling in the morning sunlight was Ryo's locket and a note was lying under it. Picking the locket up she read the note; this is what it said,

Mea, I will always love you and I know you will take good care of this locket. The day you stop wearing it will be the day I know it is truly over between us. And I will probably kill myself because I know couldn't live my life without your love. Forever… I will love you, Rekka No Ryo.

She put the locket on and looking in the mirror she felt that everything was okay but she put it under her shirt. After working the day at the University, she came home to find a hot meal sitting on the table for her and Ryo sitting on the couch reading what looked like a letter. "Cye is on his way to become a worldwide chief, Rowen is going to be a doctor and Kento is just plain having fun," Ryo told her not looking up from the letter.

"When you write back tell them I said hey," She answered walking into the kitchen.

"Goodnight Mea, I'm real tried tonight so I'm turning in early," Ryo explained heading for the stairs.

"You sure you're okay? Your not getting sick are you?" Mea asked.

"I don't think so but I haven't felt very good today maybe I'm just really tired with all the pressure I've been under," He answered in a tired voice. She watched her eyes full of worry as he went up to his room. The next morning there wasn't a note on the frig for her, Mea ran up stairs to his room to check on him. Opening his door just a crack she saw that he was still asleep, knowing that he wasn't feeling so hot last night she closed the door and decided to let him sleep. She went into the city to get some food so neither of them would have to cook.

"Excuse me do you have some Suhsei and rice?" Mea asked the chief.

"Of course this is Japan, but you won't get any unless you'll go out with me pretty lady," He answered.

"Coming on a little strong aren't you?" Mea asked with a laugh. "But I am trying to get over Ryo maybe I should," Mea thought.

"Please say you will!" He begged.

"Okay, here's my number. Call me tonight and we'll set up a date. My name is Mea, what's yours?" Mea explained.

"My name is Dave; friends call me Davie as a nickname," Dave answered handing her some real good rice.

"Thanks, I'll be waiting for your call. Ja Ne," Mea told him walking away. After she'd turned around Dave watched her walk away and when he was sure she wasn't going to turn around his eyes glowed bright yellow an he smiled a cruel smile. It was after 2 when she got home that afternoon and the house was quiet. "Ryo must still be asleep, I think I should go check on him," Mea thought looking around the house. When she got to the top of the stairs Ryo came out of the bathroom and leaned up against the railing, he was pale as a ghost. "You okay Ryo?" She asked putting her hand on his shoulder. Mea gasped, Ryo was shaking! She never had seen him shake like he was before. Ryo looked up at her; his eyes were watering real bad. "Ryo?" She asked again.

"Excuse me…" Ryo stammered turning around and closing the bathroom door behind himself. Mea stood outside the door and heard him puking. 30 minutes later he came out again and tried to make it back to his room but if it weren't for Mea he would have fallen right there in the middle of the hallway.

"What's wrong Ryo? How long have you been this sick?" Mea asked sitting him on his bed.

"This is the first time I've ever thrown up that much. I feel like I've just lost all that I ate in the past three days. I'm sorry Mea if you want to just leave I'll understand," Ryo answered lying down and putting his arm over his eyes.

"No I won't leave, you need me. Now you just stay in bed and I'll call a doctor to see what I have to do to make you better," Mea explained covering him up and then she went down stairs to call a doctor. After calling the doctor Mea did what she had been told to do. She went outside and gathered some special herbs from her garden to make a soup that was surposed to help Ryo. After making it she took it up to him and slowly feed it to him. She practically had to force it down his throat because he thought he'd throw it all up again. The soup worked and by 6 that night he was up and being his old self. Mea told him about meeting Dave and how he was posed to call to set up a date. She smiled as she thought of Dave and didn't see Ryo's grim face.

At 7 Dave called to set up a date for the next night. Mea agreed that he'd pick her up at 6 and they'd go to a movie and out to dinner. Ryo watched her get ready the next night. "How do I look?" Mea asked him turned around in the living room.

"You know I can't lie, you look beautiful," Ryo answered watching her. She went into the bathroom to finish putting on her make-up and she put her earrings on.

The doorbell rang and Mea yelled to Ryo, "Ryo can you get that please!" Ryo got up and opened the door.

"Uh… Hi. My name is Dave. I'm looking for Mea, were surposed to have a date tonight?" Dave asked.

"Come on in Dave, Mea will be down in a minute; she's finishing her make-up," Ryo told him as they sat on the couch.

"Exactly who are you?" Dave asked.

"My name is Ryo; I live here with Mea. I don't have any other place to go and Mea doesn't have the heart to turn me out on the street," Ryo explained.

"Tell Mea I'll be waiting in my car," Dave told Ryo. Ryo only nodded, he didn't like Dave a good guy to go out with would wait on his girl in the house. When Mea came out she asked where Dave was.

"He's waiting for you out in his car," Ryo answered. Mea stopped by the hallway mirror just as a quick check. She didn't know but Ryo was watching her out of the corner of his eye. He saw her put on his locket and then tuck it into her shirt. He was happy; she did still love him. Forever and always, that's the way it would always be.

Over the next month Mea and Dave went out almost every night. And ever so slowly Mea started ignoring Ryo. But no matter how much she didn't speak to him, his love for her kept growing. She never forgot to wear his locket under her shirt until 2 months exactly after she'd started dating Dave. "Hey Mea, have fun on your date tonight?" Ryo asked after she'd come in. She didn't answer just walked right on by. "What?" Ryo asked himself. He didn't care if she didn't talk to him but Mea wasn't wearing his locket that was it, he couldn't take it any more. The thunder crashed and the lighting flashed as the rain came down hard. But Ryo didn't notice as he ran through it all, he ran to the one person's house he knew would never turn his back on him, Sage. About a mile from Sage's parents house Ryo was overcome with a sudden dizziness and almost fell into the ditch. After throwing up like he did that one-day, he got up and ran on holding his left side. The lights in Sage's house were on and so was the outside front door light. Sage's parents had always been real kind to him as a small boy, they had taken care of him for awhile after his father had died before he'd found out that the judge wouldn't let them adopt him, then they had helped him run away because they knew he'd kill himself before they'd even get him there. He rang the doorbell and leaned all his weight on the door. He heard mumbling on the inside, but was concentrating on not falling and couldn't make out the words.

Sage's father, Mr. Date opened the door and Ryo fell into his arms. "What the… Ryo! Honey! It's Ryo! Something's wrong!" Mr. Date yelled.

"Lay him here on the couch," Mrs. Date told her husband. Mr. Date did and tried to ask Ryo what was wrong. "Goodness he's soaked to the bone," Mrs. Date murmured to herself as she got a blanket and put it over Ryo. Ryo could barely make out the words that she was saying.

"Sage… where's Sage?" Ryo murmured.

"For all the nights on this to happen! Sage has been home all week and now on this night he's out on a date!" Mr. Date yelled.

"I'll call his cell phone and tell him he needs to come home, Ryo needs his help," Mrs. Date explained.

"No… I'll be fine. Sage will get mad at me for reining his date, please I don't want that…" Ryo begged meeting her eyes.

"Oh, those eyes of yours Ryo. I never could get past your eyes. Their just like your fathers… I won't call right now," Mrs. Date promised. An hour later Ryo groaned and pasted out, he broke out in a cold sweat. Mrs. Date couldn't watch Ryo suffer any more; she made her husband call Sage's cell phone.

"So we've talked about me all night. Tell me a little about yourself, Robin," Sage said to his date.

"Well…" Robin was about to start when… Ring! Ring! Sage's cell phone rang; Sage tried to ignore it. "Aren't you going to get that?" Robin asked. Sage sighed in a bugged tone as he answered the cell phone, Robin giggled.

"Hello? Sage Date here, who's calling?" Sage asked into the cell phone.

"Sage! Get your butt home right now! This is your father!" Mr. Date yelled.

"Why do I need to come now? I'm right in the middle of my date?" Sage questioned.

"Ryo is here and something is wrong, he's pasted out on the couch right now. It's been about an hour and your mother is worried sick about him," Mr. Date explained.

"What Ryo? I'll be there in one minute!" Sage answered as he hang up. "Sorry Robin, but I'm gonna have to cut our date short, one of my friend's needs me right now," Sage explained as they rushed out to his car.

"Ryo? Isn't he the one who lost his parents when he was real young and bad things just seem to follow him everywhere?" Robin asked as Sage drove her home.

"Yeah, and it seems it's happened again. Man, I wish all this bad luck wouldn't follow him. Listen I'll make this up to you, how about as soon as Ryo is better? Then I can introduce him to you and you to him?" Sage asked as they stopped in front of her house.

"Call me and I'll give you my answer, bye. I hope Ryo will be okay," Robin told him giving him a small kiss on the cheek.

"Thanks, and don't worry I will call you," Sage yelled as he drove off. As soon as he'd shut off the car he jumped out and ran inside.

"Sage! Thank God your home! We need to do something for him!" Mrs. Date was in tears.

"Hey Ry… Come on Ry, wake up!" Sage begged kneeling beside his friend.

"Um… Oh hey Sage, you're back from your date early… I'm kinda tried so I'm gonna go back to sleep…" Ryo told him drifting back into darkness. Sage could tell something was seriously wrong so he picked Ryo up, one hand under his knees and the other supporting Ryo's back. Sage sat in the back seat with Ryo's head in his lap, Mr. Date drove while Mrs. Date cried as she looked at Ryo. Mr. Date drove right up to the emergency rooms doors and the nurses came out with a gurney. Sage laid Ryo on it, Ryo was semi awake, Sage followed as far as he could, but the nurses made him stop at the doors where only personal could go. The last thing Sage heard was Ryo calling out his name, "Sage… Sage… no I…don't… leave! Sage!" Tears fell down his cheeks as he yelled to Ryo that everything would be okay. The nurses came and got information they needed and told them they would tell something as soon as they knew it.

At two in the morning both of his parents had fallen asleep and Sage was just about to doze off for a minute when a doctor came out and asked him if he was waiting on hearing about Ryo Sanada. The doctor looked at the paper he carried and didn't look happy. "Yes, I'm Sage Date and those two asleep are my parents. Will Ryo be okay? When can I see him?" Sage asked jumping up.

"They're moving him to a room now, we would put him in a private room but I'm afraid that we don't have any open right at the moment. You can see him as soon as we're finished talking," The doctor answered.

"As soon as you have a private room available will you move him to it? But besides that what's wrong with him?" Sage asked.

"The answer to your first question is yes, and I'm sorry but we really don't know what's wrong with him. I've never seen a case such as his. I'll get back to you as soon as we have more of your tests back, for now all I can tell you is that he's in room 202," The doctor explained, and after a quiet second he walked away. Sage woke his parents and took them to Ryo's room.

Ryo was awake and watched them walk in, Sage took a place standing at the head of his bed. Suddenly Ryo broke out crying, Sage bent down and put his arms around his friend to somehow comfort him. Ryo cried on his shoulder, between sobs he spoke. "I… I was so scared Sage… Promise you'll never leave me all alone again… Please!" Ryo cried.

"It's okay Ryo, I promise. I'll never leave you all alone ever again. Shh… it's okay… shh," Sage said in his best soughing voice. Slowly Ryo cried himself to sleep, and Sage sat down in a chair his dad had brought for him. Without really noticing he slowly fell into a deep sleep himself. When he woke up Ryo and his parents were still asleep, it was mid morning. He snuck out of the room and went down to get some breakfast, and hour later as he came back in the room Ryo was just waking up. Ryo smiled and was happy to know that Sage wouldn't abandon him. They talked quietly until Sage's parents woke up at the same time the doctor who'd taken care of Ryo last night walked in not looking to happy.

"Good morning, I want you to know that we will do all we can to help you. If there's anything you need please ask," He told them.

"I don't like the way this is going, the way your talking I'll be here for awhile, I' am I right?" Ryo asked.

"I'm sorry to say that but yes, we haven't found out what you have yet and need to run more tests. Sometimes I wouldn't be so worried but with these symptoms I want to keep you under our watch, truly I've never seen these symptoms all together. Just relax and I'll get back to you with results as soon as I can," Dr. Slade explained.

"Relax… the only way we used to do that was mediate… I don't think I can do that very well from this hospital bed," Ryo complained with a sigh.

"You want me to call Mea?" Sage asked.

"No… she's busy with her own life. Besides I'll probably be out of here in a few days," Ryo answered.

"If you say so, I'm going down to get some books you want anything?" Sage asked.

"No, I'll just lie here maybe go back to sleep," Ryo explained as he left.

"Now listen you concentrate on getting better and don't go scaring us like you did last night. We'll be back tomorrow night, bye honey," Mrs. Date told Ryo kissing his forehead good bye.

"Ja Ne Ryo," Mr. Date said as he and his wife walked out the door. When Sage came back Ryo was asleep, he didn't wake him.

"Ryo be okay please be okay," Sage thought he watched his friend sleep.

Mea walked by the mirror in the hallway and even through she didn't remember Ryo or how much she had loved him, she felt something was missing and with out realizing it her hand reached up and she felt around her neck. She reached into the desk drawer and pulled out Ryo's locket. Hooking it on she felt everything was all right. She had a date with Dave again tonight, something wasn't right. He hadn't treated her the same since their second date. On that night they had been in his car, he'd made here look into his eyes and then they glowed bright yellow. The yellow had entered her eyes and they fogged over making her slowly forget her life before him. Now something inside her told her that something bad was going to happen and something in the back of her mind told her that she needed something that would protect her. Words from someone she had never heard before told her, it was a memory of Ryo. The first time he had let her wear his locket but she didn't recognize his voice. "This locket will always protect you, no matter what danger you're in if I can't help you the locket will save you," Ryo's voice had told her long ago. Then the doorbell rang she knew it was Davie, quickly she tucked the locket under her shirt and went out to meet him. This would be the ways things would be for the next five months, but then something happens… something unexpected.

Two months to the day, that was how long Ryo had been in the hospital and still they hadn't come up with any answers. He thought about Mea almost every second of the day, he dreamt about her as he slept. Through it all Sage didn't leave him alone, just as he had promised. "You want to write the guys and tell them you're in the hospital? They'll probably be mad that we haven't called or wrote them yet," Sage asked handing him some paper and a pencil.

"Your right, how will I tell them?" Ryo asked.

"Don't ask me I'm not a letter writer," Sage answered with a laugh. Ryo's letter looked like this;

Dear Guys,

I hate to ruin your year at collage but I thought that I should write and tell you that I'm in the hospital. I've been here for the past 2 months and they still don't know what in the hell is wrong with me. I'm getting sick and tried of being coped up in this bed. So far the only visitors I've had is Sage and his parents, I would really like it if you guys could come and visit me. I'm sure Mea would have come but she doesn't give a hang about me anymore. I don't understand what happened between us but 1 morning she comes to me and says we should break-up, meet new people. I told her to do as she wishes I couldn't hold her back. After she meet this new guy Dave, she started ignoring me, I could take her not talking to me but I couldn't take her not wearing my locket. I hope she is well and I wish she knew how much I still love her. Anyway…

Cye when you come could you bring your, NSYNC CD- No Strings Attached? Could you send it to me in the mail, I'm making a gift for Mea and I need to use a couple of the songs on it. I hope everything is fine, and that you're all okay. Please tell Kento and Rowen this to, I miss you all so bad. Well I have to go the doctor has me on a strict rest program, I can't do anything! And if he caught me writing this letter I would get a huge lecture on how I need my rest until they find out what's wrong with me. Ja Ne!

Fellow Ronin, Best Friend,

Ryo Sanada

After finishing the letter he put it in a envelope for Sage to put the address on and then mail it to them. If everything went right with the mail they should get a reply in a month or so. After Sage went to mail the letter the nurse came in and gave Ryo some sleeping medicine through his IV line. When Sage returned Ryo was out like a light and he didn't think that was right so he called the nurse in and asked her about it. "Doctors new orders he must be given a sleeping injection every 4 hours," She explained.

"And how long will the medicine keep him out?" Sage asked.

"2 hours, now if you don't mind I have other people to tend to," She told him walking away in a great haste. Sage didn't like that rest program and he told the doctor off the next time he saw him.

"I understand your concern…" Dr. Slade started.

"No! You don't! You see my friend Ryo in there! Before any of this happened he was a ninja fighter! He had a girl he loves, and friends who care about him! Now! If you don't take him off this dumb program I'll take him out of this hospital and you won't get any money!" Sage screamed at Dr. Slade in his office.

"All right, I'll take him off the rest program. Just please don't hurt me!" Dr. Slade whined. Sage watched as Dr. Slade made the call to the nurse and told her Ryo would no longer be on the rest program, after he'd hung up Sage left and was happy. Now Ryo could get better, all that rest was killing him and Sage could tell.

A month later a letter came to Ryo, it was from Cye, Kento and Rowen. They all put their own opinion into the letter but Ryo was happy to get a letter from them. Cye's part was the beginning; this is what it said,

Hey Ryo,

Why didn't you write sooner? We could have come to be with you. But now our 2 months of testing have started and when we got your letter and read that you were in the hospital, we asked our teachers if we could get out of the tests right now and take them later because we had a friend in the hospital. All our stupid teachers gave a big fat NO! We'll keep trying to work our teachers over but right now it's not looking so good. Besides that… what's up between you and Mea? We all know that you 2 were like meant to be or something, and let me guess; you haven't told Sage about this yet because he's got too much to worry about all ready. That's a good idea, you're a true friend Ryo; that's why we all like you so much. And I promise I'll send you my NSYNC CD within the next month, okay Rowen wants to put some things in this letter so here he is…

Hey Ryo! I could kill you for not writing sooner but I couldn't do that to my best friend. Since I'm studying to be a Doctor I'll research what's the matter with you. It will really impress my professor; maybe then I can get off some of these tests and come see you. You just be patient Cye and I will find some way to visit you, and we'll bring Kento. Listen I have to go or Kento is going to rip this paper out of my hands. Talk to you later, here's Kento.

Dude Ryo, what in the hell are you doing in the hospital? You've never gotten sick enough to stay in the hospital for 2 moth. This shouldn't be happening, your life was just starting to go right and now this happens. I wish it was me instead of you… then I could get out of this stupid collage. Oh No! The midnight checker is coming around I have to go. If he catches me writing this letter I'm dead, much like you with your doctor and that rest program. Well write again soon.

Your Friends,

Kento, Cye and Rowen

Over the next couple of months letters were sent back and forth Sage had to write a few of them for Ryo because he was to weak. Cye, Kento and Rowen were starting to get real worried about him. In their last letter they had bad news, the teachers had decided to add on a month of testing. But they had told Sage to tell Ryo, "Who cares! Fuck the testing! They were coming to see him as soon as they could arrange a flight to Tokyo from London." Sage wrote them back saying he and Ryo were very happy they were coming home. Before they could get that reply however Sage had to write again saying Ryo had taken a turn for the worse. One day while sleeping his heart rate had dropped too much and he almost died. Now the doctor had put him on an oxygen mask, that was about the only thing keeping him alive. Please hurry I don't know how much longer he can last. Sage wrote in the letter. Within and hour of reading the letter the guys in London didn't bother writing they called and Sage held the phone up to Ryo's ear so he could hear their voices. Ryo smiled weakly as they talked to him. "We'll be there in a week! You just hang on for another week!" They all told him. Ryo couldn't answer but he nodded and Sage told them what he meant. They knew he was bad if he couldn't talk, as soon as Sage had hung up Cye called to get tickets on the next flight to Tokyo. Cye, Kento and Rowen each told their room mates the night before they left and in the morning they were gone, boy oh boy were the teachers and dean mad. Wednesday morning they were on a plane to Tokyo but none of them could sleep.

A week earlier, Mea had been in a park with Dave when he changed. His body grew dark and nails grew long, he tried to kill her to steal her energy but when his nails were about to plunge into her throat a light glowed from under her shirt. It made them both look as Ryo's locket came out of her shirt. It opened and played the tune Ryo's mother used to sing to him when he was little, the light glowed brighter and Dave screamed as the light consumed and destroyed him. Then the locket shined light into her eyes making her remember Ryo, the guys and her dreams. Then the locket rested on her shirt. "Ryo… My love… Where are you?" Mea wondered as her memories came back. She waited for a call or letter from him everyday, but none came. She called places looking for him but found no clues to where he could be.

After almost dying Ryo had to have a nurse in the room with him every second of the day. The doctors last report showed nothing, only that something was slowly eating away at him inside. Ryo was sleeping finally after a restless night of pain; the doctors still didn't know what in the hell was the matter with him. Sage was about to fall asleep himself when the nurse asked him if he wanted to get some fresh air. "I would be more than happy to; this hospital smell is starting to make me sick," Sage answered walking out the door. He took the stairs down to the ground floor and walked outside, before walking out the doors he stopped at the front desk and told the nurse, "If anything happens with Ryo you come get me I'll be right outside."

"I'll be sure to Sage, don't worry I was talking to Kathy and she said he was improving," Candy explained with a smile. They had been there for five months and by now all the nurse's knew Sage and Ryo. Ryo was always really sweet when they came in to give him medicine or something else, and Sage was always flirting like crazy; Candy had really become quite smitten with him. She watched Sage walk outside and disappear around the corner. Once outside Sage leaned up against the wall and closing his eyes he sucked in a deep breath. It seemed like eternity before someone tapped on his shoulder, he half expected it to be a nurse coming to get him but when he saw who it was his eyes widened and a smile broke out on his face.

"Hey stranger, were here to see the patient Ryo Sanada, do you know him?" Cye asked with a smile.

"Guys! You're here! Ryo will be so happy!" Sage told them as they each hugged.

"How's Ryo doing?" Rowen asked. Sage heisted a moment afraid to tell them.

"Not so good, we've been here for five months and they still don't know what's wrong with him. I wish I knew, but I don't. Have you guys talked to Mea? She hasn't called me looking for Ryo once the past five months?" Sage asked.

"You mean Ryo still hasn't told you?" Cye asked.

"What are you talking about? Tell me what?" Sage asked looking at each of their faces.

"In Ry's first letter he said the Mea didn't give a hang about him anymore. One morning she came to him and suggested they brake up and meet new people. Then after she meet this new guy Dave, I think that was his name. She started ignoring him now he could take that and all but what he couldn't take was her not wearing his locket. I guess that's when he ran to your parent's house," Rowen explained.

"Why didn't he tell me he and Mea had broken up?" Sage questioned.

"I guess Ry felt like he'd put to much burden on you all ready," Kento answered. Sage didn't answer to that, he just stared at his feet.

Meanwhile inside… "Kathy? Where's Sage?" Ryo asked threw his oxygen mask.

"I sent him outside to get some fresh air; he was looking kinda bored. How are you feeling, Ryo?" Kathy asked.

"I'm really bored; can I go outside for some fresh air?" Ryo returned.

"Sorry but doc says you have to stay in bed," Kathy answered.

"Ahh…" Ryo groaned and he took in a big gasp of breath.

"Ryo! What's wrong!" Kathy yelled running to his side.

"Pain… comes… oww… and… goes…" Ryo gasped out.

"Here, I'll you give this shot; it'll take the pain away," Kathy told him putting a shot with relaxing liquid into his IV line, "There hows that? Any better?" Kathy asked after two minutes.

"Not any better, please… call… for… Sage…" Ryo begged looking into her worried eyes. Then sweat broke out on his forehead and he pasted out.

"Oh… Leah! Call down stairs and tell Candy to yell outside for Sage! Ryo needs him!" Kathy yelled stopping at the door. Leah made a quick call down stairs to Candy and as soon as Candy had the message she ran outside to find Sage. She found him talking to some other young men about his age.

"Sage!" Candy yelled running up to him.

"What? Candy? What's wrong?" Sage asked.

"It's Ryo, he's pasted out, he needs you," Candy stated. Sage and the guys ran inside, Sage led them up to Ryo's room. They gathered around his bed and the guys were shocked to see how much weight he had lost, their Ryo once strong and healthy, defeater of Talpa, had wasted away to nothing.
"Ry? Ry… come on wake up… come on Ryo," They pleaded. His eyes twitched and slowly opened, he turned his head as much as he could and smiled a weak smile at them. They all smiled back and one by one they grasped his hand, Ryo did his best to return their grasp. The relaxing shot Kathy had given him took away his ability to speak, there was some chemical in it that did that to some people.

So he mouthed, "Hey guys; glad you finally came." Then he turned his head back to where he was looking at Sage. Tears had welled up in his friend's eyes, as Ryo smiled at him the tears disappeared and he smiled back but Ryo's eyes were shaking and they showed fear but even more joy and hope. Ryo took a gasp of breath and then mouthed to Sage; "I'm going home." Slowly he turned his head back to where he was looking at the ceiling and his eyes closed, the spirit had left him but his mind was still there; he was in what you might call a coma. Kathy then made them step outside and she yelled for the doctor, who came running with another nurse. For two hours they tried every way possible to get Ryo to wake up but they didn't have any luck. And so after two hours Kathy walked out into the hall and with a heavy heart she told them Ryo wouldn't wake up ever again. After hearing this they all cried, for two days they stayed by his side hoping the doctors would be wrong and their Ryo would wake up. But on the second day of his coma Ryo died, his mind just gave up fighting and before they knew it he was gone. Four howls of pain went out threw the hospital and without asking everyone knew what had happened and they started to cry as well.

Kathy came in to comfort and help them make funeral arrangements. "Uh… Sage? Ryo asked me to give this to you, so you could give it to a girl named Mea," Kathy told him handing a small medal box to him; the box had a button on the side and one small hole on the top.

"Don't worry I'll make sure she gets it Ry, on my life I will," Sage promised himself. The funeral took place one week later they only ones who came were people from the hospital and Ryo's close friends who were, Sage; Cye; Kento; and Rowen. Mea was walking down the side walk to the cemetery to put flowers on her grandfathers grave when she saw many nurses walking out crying, one of them was a close friend of her sister Sally's.

"Candy! Hey! Candy!" Mea yelled running up to her. "Huh? Oh hi Mea, please forgive me for not looking happy, a really sweet patient of mine died a week ago and the funeral was today. I've got to go… give me a call sometime," Candy explained walking away.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that; I wonder who he was," Mea thought watching her friend walk away. She turned to walk the path to her grandfather grave, that was when she saw four familiar figures standing above a red rose covered grave. Two of them turned and started to walk away, one had blue hair and had a tear stained face; it was none other then Rowen. And the one behind him was the youngest that had stayed in her house, his soft English accent had always clamed down the fights between the guys; it was Cye, he followed Rowen to somehow comfort his friend. They left two others standing at the grave sight; you can guess who they were. (But for those of you who don't know it's Sage and Kento) She ran up to Rowen and threw her arms his waist, with that she gave him a big hug.

"I didn't think I would see you until after you became a doctor!" Mea told him as she smiled up at him. Rowen didn't return her smile and pulled her away. She looked hurt as she looked back and forth from both of their tear stained faces.

"How could you expect us to be nice to you after you hurt Ryo the way you did?" Rowen asked giving her a mean look.

"What are you talking about? Where is Ryo any way? I really need to talk to him. I want to know why I haven't been able to get a hold of him?" Mea questioned.

"Never mind it doesn't matter since he can't talk anymore. Cye… give her the number we'll be at, she'll probably want to talk after she finds out," Rowen told them both and then he walked away. Mea and Cye watched him go and then she turned back to Cye a questioning look on her face.

"Here Mea, we'll be staying with Sage. I'm sorry Mea, and I hate to be the one to tell you this but for the past five months Ryo has been really sick with some disease the doctors still don't know what it is. I know you two were meant for each other but now it looks like you'll have to die alone. I'm sorry Mea but Ryo died a week ago," Cye told her fresh tears spilling over his face and then he followed Rowen.

Mea ran up to Sage and Kento and pushed them aside so she could see for herself. There it was, plane as day written in fancy hand writing; Rekka No Ryo Sanada Born: Aug. 15, 1973 Died: May 28, 2000. And under that was written Everlasting Flame. "Please no… no…" Mea begged as her tears ran freely down her cheeks and she fell to her knees. Kento walked away to join Cye and Rowen, but Sage stood beside Mea for about five minutes and then leaned down beside her.

"It's okay to let it out Mea, but remember Ryo doesn't feel any pain where he is. Before he died he asked me to give you this, each day he was strong enough he worked on it. Ry put a lot of work into this; he didn't tell me what it was but it was made for you. To make it work you just push this button," Sage explained as he handed it to her and then held her in his arms as she cried.

"My…my Ryo, is gone because of some dumb disease. Wh…why did this happen Sage, why?" Mea cried as he held her.

"I don't know… I would have given anything every day of those five months to trade places with him, that way I could be the one laying there in that grave but I am not and I don't have the powers to change that," Sage explained as he helped her up. Sage then gave her a ride home and after making sure she was going to be okay on her own he and the guys left saying they would check on her tomorrow.

Mea walked blindly up to her room and then sat on her bed with the thing Ryo had made her lying on her bedside table. Tears fell freely down her cheeks, she turned her head toward the gift made by her love and she slowly picked it up. She remembered briefly what Sage had told her about it and pushed the button. A cone looking light came out of the hole that was on the top of the medal. A figure stood in the middle of the light and then he turned around looking up at her face. It was a hologram of Ryo. "Hello Mea, if your watching this then that means I'm gone but I made this so you could know just how much I will always love you. I heard a song that expresses my feelings perfectly so I put it on here, I hope you like it, here it is…

"When the visions around you

Bring tears to your eyes

And all that surrounds you

Are secrets and lies

I'll be your strength

I'll be your hope

Keeping your faith when it's gone

The one you should call

Was standing here all along

And I will take you in my arms

And hold you right where you belong

'Til the day my life is through

This I promise you

This I promise you

I've loved you forever

In lifetimes before

And promise you never

Will you hurt anymore

I give you my word

I give you my heart

This is a battle we've won

And with this vow

Forever has now begun

Jus close your eyes

Each lovin' day

And know this feeling won't go away

'Till the day my life is through

This I promise you

This I promise you

Over and over I fall

When I hear you call

Without you in my life, baby

I just wouldn't be living at all

And I will take you in my arms

And hold you right where you belong

'Til he day my life is through

This I promise you, baby

Just close your eyes

Each lovin' day

And know this feeling won't go away

Every word I say is true

This I promise you

Every word I say is true

This I promise you

I promise you"

The next song played…

"Everybody's got something

that just seems to grow with

They had to leave behind

One regret from yesterday time

There's no use looking back or wondering

How it could be now or might have been

All this know but still I can't find ways

To let you go

I never had a dream come true

Till the day that I found you

Even through I pretend that I've moved on

You'll always be my baby

I never found the words to say

You're the one I think about each day

And I know no matter

Where life takes me to

A part of me will always be with you.

Somewhere in my memory

I've lost all sense of time

And tomorrow can never be

Cause yesterday is all that fills mind

I never had a dream come true

Till the day that I found you

Even through I pretend that I've moved on

You'll always be my baby

I never found the words to say

You're the one I think about each day

And I know no matter

Where life takes me to

A part of me will always be with you.

You'll always be the dream

That fills my head

Yes you will

Say you will

You know you will

You'll always be the one I know

I'll never forget

It's no use looking back or wondering

Because love is a strange and funny thing

No matter how I try and try

I just can't say goodbye

I never had a dream come true

Till the day that I found you

Even through I pretend that I moved on

You'll always be my baby

I never found the words to say

You're the one I think about each day

And I know no matter

Where life takes me to

A part of me will always be with you."

While these songs played images of their past times together were shown in the light. Then as the songs ended Ryo came back into the light and talked about how he loved her even after he was gone. Then slowly he said goodbye and he faded as the light did. Mea cried after the light went out and slowly exhaustion took over and she fell into a deep sleep. She dreamed all the time she was asleep of Ryo. Tears even fell from her closed eyes.

He stopped at the stairs, his pale white hands touching the banister. He bit his lip as he took a hesitant step upwards. With a tiny smile, he made his way up the stairs without making a sound. He stopped at the entrance to her room and placed a hand on the door.

"I'm close…"

He pushed the door open and his breath caught as he set his eyes on her. She slept peacefully, her red hair spread out across her pillow. Her face was set with exhaustion and a blanket was strewn on the ground. Tears filled his tiger blue eyes as he watched her sleep. One fell from his face and he shook his head.

"I wish I could be with you…"

He sat gently on the edge of her bed and leaning down he brushed his lips against her forehead. He stood, with one last glance he turned and left the room.

"Goodbye…my love…"

He stopped at the balcony, staring up at the moon. His hair flew up as the wind picked up speed. He smiled up at the shining light and glanced back one last time. His blue eyes filled with tears that fell untouched by his hands. He turned back towards the moon and sighed.

"I love you…"

His eyes widened at the soft murmur and he turned. She was there, her aqua eyes staring into his own. Her red hair fell down to the mid back of her waist and she smiled hesitantly. He shook his head in disbelief, black hair moving gently.

"Mea…"

She smiled rakishly and held out her hand. He reached for it hesitantly and tears filled his eyes as he pulled her towards him. She smiled up at him, love shining in her aqua eyes. He stared down at her and let out a peaceful sigh as she placed her head against his chest.

"I came to say goodbye…"

She put a finger to his lips and looked into his eyes then she lifted her lips to his own. His tiger-blue eyes twinkled as he kissed her gently then pulled away.

"We can't do this Mea… I want you to live your life and be happy…"

She smiled and looked away then looked back at him.

"No, never say goodbye… Ryo…Don't you know that I won't be happy unless I'm with you… You are my soul mate and that can only happen if I'm with you…"

He felt his heart stop as she shook her head. Tears spilled down his face as he sighed, content. She smiled then glanced up as they faded into the moonlight, embraced in each other's arms.

"Never say goodbye…Mea…"

Four figures stood in front of the graves, heads bowed. One crouched down and placed a bouquet of fresh flowers on the grave. "I guess they really were meant to be together," One said in a husky voice. The youngest of the five knelt and brushed snow off the graves, smiling slightly.

"We should go," One of them said softly placing a hand on his shoulder. He looked up into sympathetic lavender-blue eyes and nodded, sadness flashing in his own sky-blue eyes.

"Don't worry, we'll see them again. Maybe sooner than we realize," The dark blue headed told them as they walked away. They each turned back for one last look at the graves.

" Goodbye" They each whispered and then turned an left the cemetery.

As the four left the cemetery, soft whispers rang throughout it:

"Never say goodbye…"