Cry Just a Little

SIN Productions

Cry Just a Little belongs rightfully to SIN Productions © 2005. Plagiarism is illegal and is considered a crime. Ronin Warriors is © Sunrise, Inc. All rights reserved. Comments and criticism are welcome. Rated K+ for those who love angst.

This story was originally a song-fic which was banned according to FFnet's TOS. If you would like to read the story in it's complete form go to my website listed on my author page.

Sometimes some things are more important than an education and a career.

Had it really been five years?

Yes. Yes it had.

Her breath felt constricted and the sudden beads of sweat forming on her brow surprised her.

Oh. She was nervous. In fact she was radiating it. From the profound passion reflecting in her eyes, to her pursed lips, down to her clasping and unclasping hands, and the uncertain way she held herself. It was the odd feeling bubbling in the pit of her stomach that she didn't understand. Her chest tightened and she felt the world continue on without her; why in Heaven's name did she feel so flustered?

She was Mia Koji, a calm, sophisticated, rational woman that could hold her own in a man's world.

But, her mind pointed out, it had been five years.

And in those five years she had learned self-discipline and had been relentlessly rewarded for her academic efforts. She had profited, conquered her field, and had been the success her grandfather had once prided.

And in those five years she had grasped the meaning of heartache and the excruciating loneliness that followed. She had given up potential love and happiness all in the name of education, wasn't that enough to feel accomplished?

The anguish and despair had been unbearable. And she had swore up and down through tear-filled, regretful nights spent crying herself to sleep that someday she'd tell him of the torment she had endured thinking of him.

Oh how she missed him.

She should've done things differently, but she knew better than to regret what should be left to reason and what should be left bitterly in the past. All those endless afternoons dreaming of him. All the scenarios were different, except for one thing- they'd always be together. Airy mornings spent walking in the park or chaste kisses shared at dusk. Heart-filled memories she'd have to create since her real-life was consumed with time alone, confined to her responsibility of studying to ascertain a degree.

And now that she had that degree, she felt that she achieved nothing but an empty dream.

Yet through all her desperation she remained hopeful. That's all she could do without going insane. Maybe her five years weren't wasted. Maybe he had been suffering just as much as she had; maybe there was indeed still hope.

Lost time could be made up for. Daydreams could be made into reality. Not all was lost.

But that still did not ease Mia's plight. She was still frightened by the thought of seeing him again; excited, no ecstatic but frightened nonetheless.

And so she sat in Tokyo International Airport alone, with her back perfectly erect against the jarring plastic seat they provided. Not much had changed about her since those five years past. She still had her long mahogany locks that flowed down her about her like silk. Her features were still petite and delectably feminine. Her eyes could still captivate and capture. Her touches still warm and soothing. But her china doll exterior seemed to promise something more, like a fiery soul underneath that still hadn't been tamed. She had grown a few inches and the curves of her body had become more noticeable, in fact without Ms. Koji's knowledge she had become a beautiful, tantalizing, intriguing young woman- on the outside and the inside.

The waiting area had suddenly become stuffy, almost claustrophobic as Mia gingerly waited as the masses of people consumed her. She tried desperately to seek out a familiar face but only strangers would give her a quick passerby glance as they went about their business. She felt so small, so trifling in the colossal airport but tried her best to remain optimistic. After all it had been five years since she had seen her five closest and dearest friends. In just a short while they would reunite in downstairs bar, where she should've been waiting, but couldn't help but meet with him first.

She knew the newly arrived plane from the states was in the process of landing and she anticipated every second that ticked by. She couldn't help but literally feel the minutes drag by and couldn't help but stare at the appointed terminal in nervous expectancy.

She let out an unsteady breath when the announcement was made assuring her that the plane had landed.

She felt faint.

When other people around her abruptly became animated, talking fervently about their expected loved ones, Mia unconsciously lifted a hand to her heart and felt it beating underneath her frame rapidly.

Swallowing, she mustered up the courage to push herself up from her uncomfortable seating position and startled herself as she practically leaped and bounded over to the nearest vacant window looking over the runway.

The tinted window was thankfully shielding the harsh rays from the sun so she had a clear view of everything for miles around. The plane was docking and the adrenaline was overwhelming; it was as if she was a breath away from Heaven.

She was so close; she could almost feel him- or perhaps her mind was playing cruel tricks on her.

But nevertheless she kept a vigil on the plane, her fingertips pressed against the window in a silent, nervous gesture.

Taking deep breaths to reassure herself that she had her emotions under control, she watched as if in slow motion passengers began to file off the airplane and into the terminal. It seemed time passed by frame by frame and Mia was just a spectator in a movie scene. Hopefully, she smiled to herself, her movie would have a happy ending.

With a hand against the window pane she observed as she waited for the one man that could possibly complete her life. Families were reunited, friends hugged and began catching up, businessmen and woman flipped open their cell phones checking their messages, and couples walked off holding hands…

It came to no surprise that Sage Date was one of the last passengers to exit, but she beamed, it was worth the wait.

It was breath taking seeing him again. Sage was still the gorgeous man he always was, in fact more so. Dressed in casual tan slacks and a perfectly starched, crisp white polo shirt he seemed taller with even more muscle. She couldn't imagine what incredible shape his body must be in and she smiled playfully remembering the precise grooming tactics he practiced.

Finally relief splayed across her soft features and her eyes seemed to glow a delicious amber. It finally felt right in the world, as if her patience had paid off. She murmured a joyous and thankful prayer of happiness and took her first step towards him.

Gleaming she waved to Sage's backside and with his name upon her lips… she was beaten to the chase.

"Sage! Sage over here!" a familiar, comforting voice cried above the crowd.

Sage immediately turned at the shouts and a genuine smile broke out on his face when he recognized his best friend advancing towards him.

Mia watched in a fascinated curiosity as Rowen Hashiba and Sage hugged firmly, then backed away a moment to look each other over. They quickly engaged in exuberant conversation and she suddenly felt herself walking faster and faster to them. She was all smiles as she tried to hear their conversation and push her way through the maze of people separating her from her future.

Her smile seemed to grow with each step she took and the loving warmth she thought she'd never feel again began to encompass her like a blanket, giving her the security to say and do anything.

Sporadic thoughts came to her mind: Should she kiss him? Was it too forward?

She wanted to kiss him.

"So who's your traveling companion, huh?" Rowen's voice seemed so far away and she hardly focused on the words.

It was Sage's response that she heard crisp and clear. "This is my wife."

Mia froze, completely stricken as she comprehended those words. This is my wife. Suddenly another figure came into view Mia had completely overlooked. There was indeed a woman standing next to Sage that she hadn't seen before. She must've mistaken the woman for a random person, someone insignificant or someone walking by. But the way Sage spoke of her there was pride and fulfillment in his voice she couldn't deny.

And so all of Mia Koji's unspoken dreams were shattered.

She realized after she'd had accidentally let out a gasp of shock that she had inadvertently gained the attention of all three of them.

She couldn't breathe. She couldn't think. All she could do was feel. But damn she could feel.

She couldn't hide the hurt or the look of shock, she knew her emotions were always written in her eyes. Here she had candidly hoped against hope she could have the man she left behind, but who was she kidding? Did she honestly expect him to remain forever single, waiting for her to return and realize her mistake? Of course she didn't expect that…

Or maybe she did.

Sage was surprised to see her, to say the least. She read that much. And now she was under his scrutinizing eye and she dared not look at him.

Yet she couldn't help it.

I love you, she said with her eyes as he stared back. His eyes were a violent storm of lavender that hid his thoughts. I loved you, she told herself, I truly did.

Her mouth went dry but that didn't stop her from making a desperate attempt to cover up her heartache.

"Sage, Rowen! It's so good to see you. What are you doing in Japan?" she wished she was invisible.

Rowen was oblivious to her ploy, and his brow furrowed. "Didn't you get Cye's message? We were all to meet in Tokyo this week. Ryo, Cye, Kento, Sage, Yuli, myself- and you."

"Really?" Mia's heart broke, "I didn't know. I never got a letter. Funny, but by coincidence I was just at the airport to pick up a friend and drop them off at the University."

Sage and his beautiful wife said nothing.

Rowen rambled about the deteriorating state the mail had become.

Sage deliberately raised a suspicious eyebrow but didn't utter a word.

Not wanting to break down in front of him, or her, revealing the broken mess she'd evolved into the moment he announced his marriage, she sucked in a shaky breath and attempted her best smile she could muster under the circumstances. She knew she wasn't fooling them but she had stopped caring what they thought and started wishing for an escape from their questioning stares.

"I'm sorry, really," she replied quite lamely, "I really have to go!"

She left in a blur leaving Rowen open-mouthed and Sage staring after her. At first she restrained her tears but the moment the crowd swallowed her it rained like an unrelenting river down her cheeks.

And she felt herself crumble.

She couldn't remember ever hurting so much. It seemed there was an intolerable weight against her chest and that there wouldn't ever be hope for her again. That everything she had lived for was lost in the turmoil of the airport forever. The series of bad decisions she had made years before had finally caught up with her. Sure she had a masters in Mythology and was the youngest student ever to graduate with honors in Japan, but what did that mean if you had no one to share it with? No one to love? No one to go home to?

It meant absolutely nothing.

Haphazardly she managed to find her jeep in the parking lot and rummaged through her purse for tissues and her car keys. Sniffling, she dabbed her eyes and wondered what she was going to do next. Never before had she doubted her future, and suddenly without him she was lost. She had clung to his memories for so long, she wasn't sure she could even go on.

As she was about to pull herself into the vehicle two hands encircled around her waist and stopped her from going any further. Taken aback, she whirled around and couldn't fathom a logical explanation why Sage was standing in front of her.

For a long moment they stared into each other's eyes until she broke the barrier and threw herself into his arms and buried her face into his chest.

He smelled the same: a unique mixture of waterfalls and the forest itself, a masculine scent that reeked of Halo. The moment she crushed herself against his chest he wrapped his arms protectively around her and rested his chin on her head.

"Sage?" she choked out a slight waver in her voice, looking up at him with her eyes wide and pleading. "Could you do me a favor, please?"

He didn't deny her, just nodded with a watching, gentle gaze fixed on her. Already emotions were seeping through his stony barricade as he squeezed her a little bit tighter.

"Could you cry just a little- for me?" it was an innocent request, so full of regret and longing that Sage could do nothing but comply.

A trickle of salty tears fell silently down his face and he choked back a sob. Mia felt them as they landed softly on her shirt, mixing with hers. She closed her eyes and tried to cling to the moment.

"I never knew." He softly spoke, "Until today I never knew you returned my feelings. I always thought-"

"I love you." She blurted before she could stop herself, "I…I just wanted you to know." She stated matter-of-factly. "I always have."

Sage opened his mouth to say more but she silenced him with a finger and pulled herself away before it would turn into more regret.

"Go on." she urged, feeling broken, "She's waiting for you."

He gave her a pleading look but nodded, always the strong silent type. Reluctantly with tears still streaming down, he turned and walked away.

Mia watched him go. Then bowed her head with fresh tears and the forlorn feeling of defeat.