Author's Note: I can't say too much about this one, except that I loved writing it. Please please read it all the way through- it's not a typical romance story. It's probably not about who you're thinking it's about, either. Enjoy. I probably got a little wordy, and you'll probably say it's OOC, but hey, it's a future fic. Things change, people change.

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own'em. Someday, though... ohh, I can dream, can't I?

So Happy

Nny'sFallenAngel

I was asleep for a very long time.

I didn't know I was asleep, however. I thought I was doing everything exactly the way I was supposed to, the way I was expected to, and the way that was best for me. And I was.

That was the problem.

My soul was sleeping inside me, while my brain tried to run things on it's own. I was wandering around, empty, everything I did done for the wrong reasons. It never occurred to me that there was any other way of living. A lot of people do that, I hear.

One day, I was thrown bodily into myself, my soul ripped from its slumbering state and thrown into sharp contrast against my black and white brain. I was forced to become a real person and to come to terms with who I was, and, more importantly, who I could be.

And to think: all it took was a well placed blow to the head from a sturdy bass guitar.

I live in a sleepy little town on the fringe of the world, a completely unspectacular place called Mabasa. Nothing different ever happens in Mabasa. Nothing ever has, and nothing ever will.

Well, nothing, if you forget the time that Haruhara Haruko, that crazy Vespa woman, once came here, under the ruse of being a housekeeper, and destroyed the Medical Mechanica plant on the outskirts of town. A lot of people have forgotten, actually. Sometimes, I wish that I could too.

I say under the ruse of a housekeeper, because most of the time I had to pick up after her instead of vice versa- seriously, you just couldn't say no to that woman. Fight giant robots, risk your life for her benefit, eat the super-spicy curry, clean the bathroom... you just found yourself going along with whatever she said, regardless if you wanted to or not. I'm pretty sure she was an alien. I knew she was insane.

If you'll believe me, I think I loved her once. You couldn't help but fall in love with her, eventually.

But that was a long time ago... nearly ten years, more or less.

Well... maybe _love_ is a strong word for what I felt for her. Understand, at that point in time, I didn't really understand what love meant. I was young, she was very attractive, you know how that song goes, right?

I suppose it didn't help that I was possessed by the man she really was in love with- Atomsk, the Pirate-King- for a time. Her attentions made me become even more infatuated with her for a while.

But, after the last battle, she left Mabasa, and me, behind.

... ... It's a funny thing. Looking back, I realize that Samejima Mamimi, a local girl I had considered a friend, and Haruko had a lot in common, especially to me. Both of them had led me on, even if they hadn't known it at the time- I don't think anyone noticed, actually. Both of them had been beautiful, young girls that had cared for me in their own ways.

And both of them had up and left me.

Mamimi had left Mabasa to become a photographer, and she had made a great success of herself. Even Jii-chan will grudgingly admit that she's got amazing skills behind the camera. Her pictures have souls of their own, because she puts pieces of her own soul into them.

I remember her so well... playing her hand-held video games, playing with Ta-kun the cat, flirting with my brother, smoking, the way she felt when she would hold my hand or hug me, sitting on the riverbank, kicking her feet in the water as she waited for me. Her hair was always loose, falling over her lips and eyes...

She had the face of an angel.

Over the years, I came to realize that while I missed both of them, Haruko's face was the one that became harder and harder for me to remember, while Mamimi's became clearer and more constantly on my mind. Everything I saw reminded me of her.

You'll probably think me ungrateful, since Haruko was the one that brought me alive, so to speak, in the first place. But Mamimi was the girl that had accepted me for who I was, who spent time with me when no one else wanted to. Mamimi was the only person who had never wanted something from me.

I realized what I had known all along. I loved her then, standing with her on the bridge watching Haruko fight robots, unless I was helping. I love her still.

I miss her.

Seems a little silly, I guess. I haven't seen her in a decade. She probably forgot all about me, long ago.

I've lived in this house above the bakery with Oyaji-san, Jii-chan, and my brother my whole life, or as far back as I can remember. Ta-kun left years ago to make his own way in the world, and so it had fallen to me to run the bakery cash register and wait on the customers. Oyaji and Jii-chan are almost more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to dealing with people. Ironically, they seem to find dealing with me a lot easier, since I make it a point not to talk much. I know that it tends to make people uncomfortable.

I had given up on anything ever changing. I was the same old me, waiting on the same old people, making the same old bread, filling out the same old orders, and counting out the same old change. That's the way it had been for years, and I was resigned to the fact that that was the way it would always be.

Or so I thought.

"Hmm..." Mitsuko Iora purred, leaning on the counter provocatively, "I'll take a loaf of the curry bread and two of the rye, and possibly a hug from that cute thing behind the counter?"

I sighed inwardly, wrapping the loaves in tissue paper and putting them in a paper sack in front of the middle-aged housewife. "You'll still have to pay me, Iora-san."

She pouted, then dropped the money on the counter.

I gathered it up, put it in the cash register, and handed her the receipt. "Have a good day."

"Can't I have a hug anyways, angelface?"

I sighed again, and obliged her with an over-the-counter one-armed hug. "'Bye, Iora-san."

"'Bye," she waved as she pushed open the door, the small bell jingling, and left.

The shop was completely empty now, Iora-san had been the last of the afternoon mob. I liked the bakery best when it was like this, quiet and peaceful. There would be almost no one until the after- school/work crowd showed up, so I busied myself with filling the countercase back up with replacements for the sweetbreads and loaves the housewives had bought. As I stacked the bread, the bell jingled again, signaling that someone had entered the shop.

A pair of shoes tapped softly and tentatively across the floor. "Ummm... hello? Kamon-san? Ta-kun?" a girl's voice called hesitantly.

I froze mid-stack, gathered myself, and peeked up over the counter.

Samejima Mamimi stood there, looking confusedly around the shop. I tried not to squeak. My heart, in a manner of speaking, thudded uncontrollably in my chest.

She was almost exactly the way I remembered her. Her face was just as beautiful, her eyes were still big and wondering, her skirt was just as short. Only her hair was different, and that was only because she had let it grow to the middle of her back instead of stopping at her shoulders. She had let her large black bag drag along the ground, holding it loosely with one hand as her eyes searched the back of the store. She looked as though she was a lost child looking for her parents.

"M-Mamimi?" I stuttered, putting my hand on the counter and raising myself up a bit. I had changed since she had left, part of me was worried that she wouldn't recognize me, or, even worse, not remember me.

I shouldn't have worried. Her large brown eyes found me instantly, widening in surprise, and then happiness as I came out from behind the counter.

In a flash she had dropped the strap that she still held and rushed towards me, practically jumping into my arms to give me a hug, so I could give her one in return. Just like old times.

"Canti-sama!!" she squealed happily, arms around my neck. Her old pet name for me. I almost laughed as I spun her around once, hugging her carefully.

"Sameji-chan, why were you gone for so long?" I asked her, not daring to let her go in case I was dreaming.

She smiled dreamily up at me, her large brown eyes misted over with emotion. "I was looking for my happiness, Canti-kun. It took me ten years to realize where it was, but I found it. Right where I'd left it."

I looked down at her, confused, hardly daring to hope that she meant what I thought she meant. "Where did you leave it, Mamimi?"

Mamimi put her hand over my chest, looked up at me. "Here."

I couldn't say anything, I was drowning. She understood. The world could have ended then and there, and I wouldn't have cared.

I was so happy.

End

Wow. I can't believe I did it.

Well, yay me! The first Canti romance on FF.net, if not ever. Review, please! I want to know what you thought about it.