Standing in the rain with a small red headed child next to her, Aya Mikage stood at the foot of her husband's grave. She'd kept her last name when they were married for they didn't know his last name. He'd died two years after their child was born and now a month after his death, she still came to mourn his death.
"Tooya why did you leave me?" she sobbed out.
"Why why why. We loved one another so much, but you're gone. I wish we had another mana for you, but it wasn't possible. I promise to always love you." She said as hot tears of loss flowed down her young face.
"Mama, why are you crying?" the small child asked.
"Mama's fine Aki, it's just that I miss daddy." She said as she picked up her son. She named it after her twin brother who she loved dearly. He had died two years ago along with the majority of her family and friends. Alone with her son and no real place to go to, Aya walked back to the car and buckled Aki into his seat. She was only eighteen years old, a mother and a widow. It wasn't right and her one and only love was now gone. She couldn't help but feel anger for what had happened yet also feel thankful at the same time. 'Ceres why did you do this? Why couldn't you have given Tooya a longer lifetime? I loved him so as you do Mikage, but now I'm at a loss.' She thought as she drove over to her friend's home. Walking up the beautiful pathway, Aya carried Aki in arms, using her other hand to hold the umbrella. When she got to the door, her best friend Suzumi answered the door. "Aya, I'm glad you came." She said as she took the child from her arms. "Hi auntie Suzumi!" Aki said before running off to the TV room. "Aya, you're drenched. If you don't take better care of yourself you'll catch cold." Suzumi scolded. "I know, but I really don't care." She mumbled out. "I know that you miss Tooya but there was nothing we could do. Even if Kagami had made another mana it was incomplete, not useful. It would've done the same thing to him as it did to Aki." Suzumi said hugging Aya. She was just like a sister to her as was Yuuhi. "I want you to stay here a while. You need rest, and I want you to regain some strength. Yuuhi and Mrs.Q can take care of Aki, Alec can too." She said as she took Aya to the bathroom. "Take a warm bath, then come to me for some tea so we can talk." Suzumi ordered. "Okay." Was all Aya said.

"Suzumi what is going on? Why is Aki here?" Yuuhi yelled out from the kitchen. "Why do you want to know?" she hollered at him. "Cuz he keeps taking my chopsticks!" he whined out. "Well if you wanted to then teach him how to be a great chef!" Suzumi said.

Walking to the dance studio, Suzumi sat and relaxed herself. Gracefully she began the dance of the Celestial Maidens ascending to heaven. The moves were so graceful, and being a descendant herself, the moves just flowed like the air. "Suzumi you never cease to amaze me." A soft soothing voice came from the door. "Alec." Was all said as he walked over to her. "You know I love you right?" he said as he picked her up and hugged her. "Yeah I know. Why would I have married you? You were the one who was able to show me what love is." She said with a smile. "Well you're the one who has helped me start a new life in protecting all the descendants of the celestial maidens. "Yeah and that's another reason why I love you." She said before kissing the tall blond on the lips.

Stepping out of the steamy bath, Aya dried herself off trying to figure out a way to get Suzumi to quit bugging her. 'God it's like she's treating me like a child' grabbing a towel, Aya began to dry her body.

Escaping the kitchen, Yuuhi wiped the sweat from his brow. Man could that kid wear you out fast. Though he did have to admit that kid did have cooking potential. The only thing that Aki had to do was stop taking his chopsticks away and using them as probing toys. Walking down to the bath, Yuuhi tore his shirt off and opened the bathroom door, when to his utter surprise, Aya stood in front of him in her naked beauty. The only problem she looked so depressed. "Aya I'm sorry, I didn't know you were here." Yuuhi said trying not to look at her. "It's okay Yuuhi. It's not like you haven't seen me naked before." She said as she wrapped her towel around herself before walking to her room. Standing there in a daze Yuuhi was completely in a daze. 'Wow was she acting wrong. I mean god she let me LOOK at her body!' Aya went in her room, not really caring that she let the man that was probably still in love with her see her naked. She was just still in a slump with the Tooya thing. Her heart ached so much for him. Sometimes she even felt bad about being around Aki, because of his resemblance to Tooya. Aki and his red hair and blue eyes. His face had the contours that Tooya had yet had the gentleness that Aya had. Putting her robe on, Aya walked to the mirror looking at herself. She looked so sullen, and dark. She looked old, about 25 instead of 19. When Tooya had been around, she was happy, full of life, but when he got sick and weak 3 months ago, she began to feel his pain and sorrow. Her heart now had a burden of being a single mother and still deal with the death of her loved one. All the memories filling her mind gave her a powerful punch of emotions that made her drop to her knees sobbing. "Tooya, Tooya where are you?" was all she said over and over again, the hot tears streaming down her face. Walking out of the bathroom, steam spilling out into the hallway, Yuuhi walked down to his room when he heard Aya crying. He walked over to the door and hesitated before opening it. "Aya what's wrong?" he asked as he rushed over to her when he saw her on her hands and knees. "He's gone forever. I don't know how to live anymore. I don't think I can." She said as Yuuhi wrapped his strong arms around her shaking body. "Don't leave us Aya. You don't understand how many of us love you and want you around. You've also got a son. I'm here for you." He said lovingly against her neck. "Yuuhi, you're still by my side after all the things that have happened. You've watched me love Tooya, then turn to you then turn back to Tooya. Why are you still here by my side?" Aya asked her sobs not decreasing as she shook her head against his chest. "Aya you still don't understand do you? I still love you and always will. I made a promise right before Aki was born. The promise was between Tooya and me. He asked me if I would promise to always protect you even if he was gone. I said yes, because I never want you to be sad. I watched you love him because I knew it made you happy. All I want for you is your happiness, even if you can't return it to me." He said with such emotion and tenderness that Aya silenced. "Yuuhi, I don't know what to do or say. I want to have feelings for you. Please help me forget the pain and help me feel happiness." She begged in a hoarse whisper. "I promise as long as we take it slow. I want to be yours forever and I won't be happy until I know that you feel the same for me." Was the last thing he said because Suzumi showed up. "What is going on here?" she asked as she tapped her food in annoyance. "I was just..." was all he was able to get out, for Aya put her slender finger over he lips. "I was upset and Yuuhi came to comfort me. He told me something that is I think is helping me move one." She said as she wiped the rest of her tears off her face. "Okay I was just making sure. Please Aya come talk to me tomorrow, and don't be afraid." Suzumi said, he voice and features smoothing out. "Okay, I promise." "I'm going to go now Aya. I'll let you rest. Aki is with Mrs.Q so don't worry." Yuuhi said before giving her a light kiss on the cheek. "Thank you Yuuhi. I forgot how it felt to have friends." She said with a smile. "No problem. I promise to always protect you." He said before sliding the door shut.

A/N: Hello all you Ceres fans, if you don't know me already, I'm Teri Baumer. I've written several Fanfics recently. This is I think my fifth fanfic. I've got a final fantasy 8 humor/romance R fic, a Humor/romance R Fushigi Yuugi fic, a PG-13, Humor/Romance Angelic Layer fic, and a Rated R, romance/humor FFX-2 Rikku fic. Well I hope you like this Ceres fic. I sure do love it! I have a lot of Ceres in my Rikku fic. It's a Rikku and Gippal fic to be exact. Enjoy and review if you want me to continue writing this one. LYL!

Teri Baumer