DISCLAIMER: I don't own FoR's wonderful characters.

A/N: Stand-alone short one-shot (more like a drabble reall), not in any way affiliated with A Cup of Tea. But alas, I have been cut off from my source of inspiration. I'm not sure if this'll be the last, but as long as their love is there, I can just continue on. Enjoy!


The first goodbye was cordial at best, and so it was the easiest.

It was of 2 teammates bidding the other goodbyes and farewells and good lucks with a mere look in the eye and a handshake. Stiff, formal. As if, according to the ever-eloquent Domon Ishijima, also a recepient of the look sans the handshake, they hadn't fought side by side in a death match and lived to tell about it.

The only one who got away with something more was Yanagi, and it was of no surprise to anyone. Nonetheless Recca did his part by sputtering indignantly.

And after that he was gone.

The second goodbye was familiar, but it was done with mutual recognition of fate.

This time it was of 2 friends. They have been re-acquainted 2 years after the initial farewell, gone through a myriad of ups and downs, twists and turns, but time has come yet again to move on.

As usual it was he who was leaving.

This time, much to her surprise, he gathered her into his arms, squeezed, and promised to keep in contact.

But he never did.

The third goodbye was hard, unfeeling at the surface, but was churning with hatred and sadness and regret and misgivings. This time there was no eye contact, no hand shake and definitely no embrace. Just harsh words fleeting between them, a tear or two falling from her eyes.

But he didn't see them. He was already gone.

Fuuko has one time or another wondered how many times a person can say goodbye to someone... She thought that it was a finite thing. The last person she bid farewell to was her father, and he has never come back as the dead ought to do. Which was why she avoided saying the word as much as she can.

Of course it never really was the same way with one Tokiya Mikagami. The man seemed to defy all of her self-imposed realities, one of which is the fact that he kept coming back even after 3 supposedly permanent farewells.

"I said I was sorry."

The girl snapped out of her reverie and sighed. "Everyone's sorry Mikagami. Yanagi was sorry. Recca was sorry. Domon, Kaoru, Ganko... Heck, even Kondo was sorry!"

Mikagami shifted his stance and glanced at the clock.

8 minutes before the cab arrives. 8 minutes to make amends. 8 minutes to get her to accept him back in his life. Or if not...

8 minutes to say goodbye.

"What do you want then, Fuuko?"

Purple eyes flashed at the mention of her name. "What do I want? I don't know anymore... You took away everything I wanted when you left." The last part was said in a whisper.

He stepped forward, and for the second time since they've known each other, embraced her.

"Do you want everything back?" he whispered against her ear.

She stiffened in his embrace. "Everything will leave again anyway. I know it will. I'd have to say goodbye again."

"You won't have to Fuuko", he planted a chaste kiss at the side of her lips. "You won't ever have to."

There was a fourth goodbye, but the difference was he wasn't the one leaving. Neither was she. It was, for Fuuko, the sweetest and the best and the most wonderful of all goodbyes. She wanted to bid farewell to it for so long, and now she finally can as she said the words "I do."

It was a farewell to valediction.