Title: First Love

Author: Frostmourne

Disclaimer: Vision of Escaflowne is not mine and so is the song used here. They belong to their respective owners.

Author's Note: When I heard Hikaru Utada's First Love, I remembered my fiction Heart of Sword – Before Dawn and thought that it was a bit too one-sided. I decided to make Hitomi's view regarding the entire scenario. So this fiction is here. I hope you like it. Bold texts are the Japanese lyrics while the bold with italics are the translation, and lastly, the italicized texts are flashbacks.

I'd like to dedicate this to all those who had given me reviews and e-mails and of course, those who are my Gaean Illusion Family. Thanks for everything!


It was not supposed to be that way.

Not so long ago, she thought – believed – that love would triumph over anything, that no matter the odds, everything would be alright. It had been true. Even when they had so many problems, they both managed to pull through, but now, they were standing at a dead end. And how that reality broke her apart into so many pieces impossible to mend back! She wanted so badly to keep him, hold on to him and never let go. Wasn't that supposed to be what love was all about – sticking together even during the worst of times?

Her eyes stung as she looked at him, his head turned away and his eyes staring into the darkness. This boy, so angel-like in appearance and yet so fiercely ruthless in his actions, was the only boy who ever made her feel like she was the most important person in the world. He loved her so strongly, so passionately that it was a sharp contrast to what everybody knew of him. Wasn't he the same boy who took pleasure on causing other people's pain?

'He is,' she admitted to herself. 'But never to me. And I'll love him so even when all that changes…' And at the thought, the pain increased, her eyes finally giving way to tears she had successfully held back minutes before.

He turned back to her with a startled look in his eyes and reached out for her, engulfing her in his arms. "If I try so very hard to change, would you still give me a chance?"

She realized how ironic it was that he, who did not fear anything at all, could be scared at just her tears, could be so compliant when she was the one who asked. And the realization did nothing to ease her pain and thus, in a broken voice, she whispered, "Yes."

Looking up to see what her answer had done to him, she saw him smile sadly as he said, "But we're bad for each other, aren't we?"

She couldn't take it and in her efforts to smother away another set of tears, she buried her face against his shoulder and nodded.

"Could you just promise me one thing before we end this?"

It would be over soon, she could tell. "Anything."

"If you have someone again, make sure you'll be happy."

At the words, she tried so hard to keep still, to choke back all the tears that seemed to escape even when her eyes were closed so tightly. 'Please… please don't,' she pleaded her tears so desperately. But those salty badges of her emotions did not listen and continued to stubbornly push out of her shut eyes. Before long, she was trembling at the effort she was exerting to force back her sobs. And she felt his arms, always so warm and protective, tighten around her.

"I love you, Hitomi."

And she cried then, harder and harder as each moment passed. Even when it was for his good, she could not help but question what was happening. She found herself thinking what she was doing there, asking him to let go of what they had; she loved this boy, with his silver hair and red eyes, with his pale skin and beautiful heart that no one could really see, with all his dreams, fears, flaws, and failures. He was far from perfect but she didn't just like him; she loved him with all that she had and it hurt because she knew to hold on to him would destroy him.

Her emotions weighed her down so considerably. So this was how it felt to have a broken heart; it hurts more than words could describe. She found them silly – those people who wrote all those love poems and stories that made heartbreak seem so fascinating despite its dark shade. But she found them brave, too. They found strength to try and define what was so painful to confront, so that others would know how it would feel and would expect it, consequently lessening its blow. Was there ever such a thing at all though? It was still unbearable, too harsh…

"I love you so much, Dilandau, that it kills me to keep you only to make you self-destruct. I love you so much that I'd rather see you walk away than stay with me and hurt so much."

And she held him back tighter even for the last time, trying to memorize the feeling of being in his warm embrace, trying to memorize the unique smell of him under all the faint smell of cigarette smoke.

Saigo no kisu wa

Tabako no flavor ga shita

Nigakute setsunai kaori

the last kiss

tasted like tobacco

a bitter and sad smell

"Stay?" He asked with a bitter smile that dawn, when he had carried her to her bed, tucking her in gently and unknowingly waking her up.

She nodded.

His smile widened slightly and from the depths of his pain-ridden eyes, she saw amusement. "And what would your parents' reaction be if they saw me in here?"

No sound passed her lips and she continued to hold on to his shirt, willing him to stay with her before this last chance for a moment together eludes them forever. And he gave in, climbing on her bed and holding her tight – tighter than when they were still together in the most unexpected of relationships between opposites.

Secure and loved in his arms, she fell asleep, clutching on him, wishing that time would stop and leave them alone in each other's embrace forever. But it was never meant to be and when she woke up, the road ahead of her, she would tread without him.

She looked up from the notes she was trying to read as another set of whisper reached her ears.

The news of her breakup with Dilandau Albatou, the school's number one heartthrob and number one bully, was everywhere – even in the library.

Closing her eyes, she pictured him, looking irate at how nosy people seemed to find them too interesting to ever leave them alone even for just a while. And she smiled slightly, yearning for him and yet knowing he would be alright by himself. When she opened her eyes, she saw most students in the library turning away and she sighed. They would look at her for a long time, talk about her behind her back, and yet she would never say a word; she owed Dilandau that much.

Ashita no imagoro ni wa

Anata wa doko ni iru n' darou

Dare wo omotte 'ru n' darou

tomorrow, at this time

where will you be?

who will you be thinking about?

"So are we going to the party?"

She looked away from her food and searched the cafeteria for a familiar set of red eyes and saw him, guiltily looking away from her. Smiling at him, she turned back to her friend and shrugged. "Should we?"

Her friend gave a weak smile. "Dilandau will be there, if that's what you're asking me."

And again she smiled as she was reminded of how he was still what he was to her, the same bad boy who wasn't really such a bad boy after all; she loved him still because she didn't just see him for what everyone saw, she looked at him for what he truly was inside. It was almost funny how opposite they were and yet how they suited each other just fine, despite their differences and what everyone else thought of them being together. But there really was no point thinking about it, is there? They weren't together anymore and there were many times, when he just walked by her in the school corridor or when he'd call her at night – never saying anything and just waiting for her to say something – that she thought of how strange it was to be still in love with him.

She wanted to believe that they were soul mates, however absurd it sounded, because at random dawns, she could still feel him lingering outside her house, maintaining his distance and yet never quite letting her go.

"So?"

She blushed and dared to look up at him, getting her self caught in his unbelievably red eyes.

His smirk deepened and he reached out to touch her cheek, so gently that she was startled at how different he was from what she'd heard of him all over the school. Was he just flirting with her, playing with her like he'd done on countless girls not only from their school but from other schools as well?

"No," he said softly. "I'm not playing." And he looked deeply into her eyes and offered her a real smile, seemingly reading her mind. "I'd just like to know how it feels."

And she swallowed nervously, knowing his record regarding his bedding and deflowering plenty of girls before dropping them without even as much as a second thought. "It feels?"

He leaned dangerously close and whispered against her ear. "I'd like to know… how it's like to touch the light."

Before she realized exactly the meaning of his words, he pulled away and again gave her a smirk she felt was merely a mask. And he winked at her before moving away, leaving her standing alone in that empty locker room so late in the afternoon.

It wasn't long before Amano came and asked her out. She had accepted, elated that her crush had finally noticed her, simple-looking as she was. But when they were out on their date, she found her thoughts straying to Dilandau, always wondering what he meant. Before long, she told Amano that she wanted to be just friends. She almost changed her mind when she saw how crestfallen he had looked, but when her eyes caught a set of unreadable red eyes looking on in their direction, everything felt right.

Is this infatuation? Or is this love- She asked herself again and again, when she and Dilandau started to spend time together, time that many people raised their brow at, time that many people whispered about, and time that her parents questioned.

But the world didn't mean a thing. Because when she was with him, everything seemed to fade away. There was no promises, no pretenses, no opinions from other people; there was just the two of them and the warm, comforting feeling that seemed to engulf her from inside. And again she would ask - Is this infatuation? Or is this love?

You are always gonna be my love

Itsu ka dare ka to mata koi ni ochite mo

I'll remember to love

You taught me how

You are always gonna be the one

Ima wa mada kanashii love song

Atarashii uta utaeru made

you are always gonna be my love

even if I fall in love with someone once again

I'll remember to love

you taught me how

you are always gonna be the one

it's still a sad song

until I can sing a new song

She placed her bag on top of her bed, her eyes fixed on the telephone on top of her desk. Biting her lower lip slightly, she approached the desk and wondered if there were messages left for her.

Then she sighed. Of course there were messages, she almost admonished herself. But she didn't want those messages sent to her by boys who found her strangely attractive, despite the fact that she was just a good runner and an ace student. Those things didn't matter in a relationship at all, because they should be looking at her the way he looked at her. They should be seeing her and not her accomplishments!

And her finger, hovering above a button that would activate the reading function of the telephone, wanted so much to push the button. Yet she hesitated and bit her lip even more. 'Did you remember me today?' She asked silently. 'Like how I always remember you?'

"Hitomi?"

Immediately, she withdrew her hand away from the telephone and looked at the doorway of her room, finding her mother there with a letter held in her hand.

"Mom?" She asked, eyeing the letter.

Her mother smiled and went to hug her, announcing so happily that a letter from the prestigious university on the country's capital country had just accepted the application form they sent. She would be able to study there as a scholar. The exited talk of her mother about how her father would be so happy, about what it would do to her future, about so many things were lost to her because she just realized what the application acceptance meant.

And within her mother's proud embrace, her eyes went back to the telephone.

'Would you remember me still?' Her heart asked with longing as it ached more each moment. Without noticing it, her tears fell and her mother thought that her tears were that of joy. She didn't deny it because she was too busy wishing she would be numb from the pain. It was too soon to force her to forget him and what they had.

Tachidomaru jikan ga

Ugoki-dasou to shite 'ru

Wasuretaku nai koto bakari

the paused time is

about to start moving

there's many things that I don't want to forget about

It was still quite early, too early for some people to be resting awake on their bed, finding themselves roused and unable to go back to sleep. And yet she found herself amongst those who were unaffected by how early it was to be up.

Many months before, it was never like this; sleep had never abandoned her during questionable hours. But things changed and before she knew it, dawn had been keeping her company – not the uncontrollable dreams slumber offered.

She turned in bed, unable to keep staring at her darkened ceiling, waiting, feeling, hoping; a gentle smile formed on her lips and she left the confines of her bed and walked towards her window, feeling closer to the familiar feeling of someone – a person so beloved and important to her – being outside. But another feeling stopped her and before her bare feet could tread the lamp post-illuminated part of her room, she stopped, hesitating for a moment.

Why something felt so final at that instant, she could not grasp. And when she finally decided to walk on towards her window and open it, she felt her heart tighten.

He was there, walking away.

She followed his figure with her eyes and knew that it was finally, truthfully over. He was letting her go; there was nothing within him anymore.

He moved on and now, he was telling her silently that she should do the same – forget him and what they had. But wasn't doing that harder than just saying it? Love… it's hard to forget in itself, even harder when it's first love. But he wasn't just her first love; he was her first true love – and wasn't that the most important factor that made it hardest to forget?

Ashita no imagoro ni wa

Watashi wa kitto naite 'ru

Anata wo omotte 'ru n' darou

tomorrow, at this time

I will probably be crying

I will probably be thinking about you

Her eyes followed his form and she bit her lower lip in a nervous gesture. This was it, her last chance to talk to him. But did he want to talk to her? She wanted so badly to know because after the last dawn he had been by her house months ago, they never really interacted anymore. He didn't look her way anymore, didn't call her at night. It had hurt but she reminded herself strongly that it was better that way and that she should let him go the way he let her go. Her only consolation about his moving on was that he seemed to change for the better, and it was enough, because she loved him so that she would trade her heart for his new chance in life.

Nervously, she approached him, keeping her eyes on his smiling face as he accepted the congratulations of his friends. She hoped they wouldn't notice her until she was standing within a few feet from them because she didn't really know if her courage would hold up; she'd probably turn around and hurry on away from them.

When she was standing near him, his friends noticed her. Dilandau turned his attention to her, the smile on his face replaced by a look of slight panic. She nearly flinched at his reaction but then his friends said something about having to wash dishes at home before walking away that she nearly laughed. Graduation day and the bad boys are going home to wash dishes? Wherever do they come up with such lame excuses?

"Hey, you…" His voice came, so soft like a breathy whisper.

Her attention was quickly brought back to Dilandau and she couldn't help but blush when she looked up at him, feeling a sense of deja vu come over her.

"I saw your parents," she said, saying the first thing that her mind could come up with.

He smiled, his red eyes dancing with amusement, making him look so innocently boyish that she couldn't stop thinking about how much it suited him. "They did want so much to see me graduate."

"Er, yeah." And again she flushed, starting to bite her lower lip again. She was so nervous that she didn't know what to say that moment.

So silence settled on them and she was nearly squirming under his gaze by the time that he decided to talk.

"Congratulations," he said softly, smiling at her so shyly that she would have laughed if she wasn't so nervous. It almost felt like the time when they first went out.

"Same," she answered lamely. She opened her mouth to tell him that she'll always love him but was interrupted when she heard Dilandau's mother calling him.

"I need to go," he said, sounding disappointed but trying not to let it show. "I'll see you around?"

She panicked then because it was the last chance she'd ever get before she'd move away to another city, the last chance to tell him personally how she felt before she let him go to start a new life. So she did the only thing she could think of; she pulled his face down and pressed her lips on his, closing her eyes and caring not what other people would think. She just wanted to memorize the indescribable feeling only he invoked in her and when she pulled back, she barely caught his startled expression before she fled from him.

His expression remained in her mind for the years that came and by and by, she learned to accept that he no longer returned what she felt. When she started to go out with other guys when she was in her college years, she'd look around, hoping to see him somewhere. She was willing to take that as a sign that they were meant to be. But each time, her hopes were dashed and she forced herself to deal with the feeling of stinging disappointment. And then, she met someone, someone who helped her move on, even when it wasn't completely moving on. She'd always love Dilandau in a special way. Her new love understood because he knew how it felt to love and fail, because he knew that was how life was, and because he knew that to love was to accept everything.

They went out for a long time, learning to care more and more for each other and she was grateful to him, because the pain slowly subsided and she felt that she could be happy again. So when he proposed, she knew that she could live her life with him, for he understood her and loved her for what she was. He loved her past and present and forgave her for always keeping someone so special in her heart.

"I love you and I'm willing to love you even when you can't offer me your whole heart," he had said to her on one occasion, when they were studying together and she got bored and started to talk about her high school life, unknowingly mentioning moments with Dilandau in a wistful tone.

Her heart, although never whole for her to give away anymore, went to him then. And she remembered that day too well when he proposed, along with Dilandau asking her to be happy if she had someone again. As a result, she had accepted a new person in her life. During one of their small talks about where to marry, she mentioned she wanted to do so in her home town and he agreed. But when she playfully asked if she could invite someone special to their wedding, she hadn't expected him to smile at her and say, "Dilandau will always be welcome." She had stared at him then, startled. 'How could he know? I didn't say any name,' she found her self thinking.

When they came back to her home town, she couldn't talk to him about the guests she wanted to be there, because she felt so guilty. She was marrying him and yet, she would always love Dilandau and even had the nerve to want to invite her lost love. But he urged her and smiled at her, kissing her cheek and saying that he understood.

So she did ask Dilandau to come, offering her friendship to him and yet not expecting him to come at all. His presence there made her smile and she did not stop herself from hugging him before the ceremony began. Dilandau had hugged her back and for a split second, her heart soared at the thought that he might still feel the same way for her. But she shook the thought away and hurried on for the wedding ceremony.

You will always be inside my heart

Itsu mo anata dake no basho ga aru kara

I hope that I have a place in your heart too

Now and forever you are still the one

Ima wa mada kanashii love song

Atarashii uta utaeru made

you will always be inside my heart

you will always have your own place

I hope that I have a place in your heart too

now and forever you are still the one

it's still a sad song

until I can sing a new song

During the ceremony, her thoughts went to Dilandau, thinking about how he held her so tightly before the ceremony started.

And before she said her 'I do', she realized that he was saying goodbye to her, his light. When he said he wanted to touch the light, he had known she had the power to make him change for the better and thus he chose her out of all the people there was around, out of all the girls who loved him so; he chose her as the special someone who'd really see that he wasn't nearly as ruthless as everyone perceived him to be, that he wasn't even a bit as heartless as he projected himself to be.

Her heart thumped so loudly that she was sure everyone could hear its beating. He never really did let her go that dawn he walked away. He was just giving her an even bigger space that she needed to really choose if she still wanted him back, if she was still willing to give her heart to him despite the fact that he could still break it even when he would never willingly do so. And that graduation day, when he had a panicked look when he first saw her, he only had that reaction because he wasn't sure that he could trust himself to not spill his heart out to her, to not beg her to forget a new start in life, and to not grovel at her feet, asking her to stay with him forever. And the startled expression was because he didn't know if she was saying goodbye forever, or if she was giving him a new chance.

So she searched the crowd and when she saw him, their eyes locked for the briefest of time. 'I'll always love you,' she said in her heart and she gave him the smile she used to give him before. But she kept her smile so small, trying not to let the world know.

His eyes flickered with an emotion and she knew he understood. Even when his face remained impassive she saw the answer in his eyes, the answer that confirmed that they both knew the truth. And the truth made her eyes brighten because now, she was truly happy. He'll always keep a special place for her inside him.

You are always gonna be my love

Itsu ka dare ka to mata koi ni ochite mo

I'll remember to love

You taught me how

You are always gonna be the one

Mada kanashii love song

you are always gonna be my love

even if I fall in love with someone once again

I'll remember to love

you taught me how

you are always gonna be the one

it's still a sad song

until I can sing a new song

It was then that she realized with a wistful feeling that even when it was finally time to completely let go of what they had, it didn't matter at all. Because when it came to the real point of everything, the love that they felt towards one another still remained as pure as the day it was first planted into their hearts. Every pain that love dealt them with made them wiser, stronger, braver… and it will always give them that special connection meant only for them, even when they weren't really meant to be in the long run.

And she had said 'I do' to someone else then. But even so, she knew so clearly that he will always be and remain so as her first true love…

Now and forever...