A/N-I immediately fell in love with the RubedoxSakura interaction as I started to play Xenosaga II, but I still loved Jr.xMOMO and recently I've sort of become one of those yaoi fangirls…Haha! So there will be some Jr.xMOMO, RubedoxSakura, and RubedoxAlbedo, so I'm hoping I'll be pleasing three audiences! Just so you know this is my first attempt at implied shounen-ai so I hope it's ok! This story's going to be separated into three installments for each implied pairing so stay tuned! (Poor Nigredo…he doesn't get any love!) Also, I haven't finished the game yet so there are no major spoilers as I don't really know much of anything new besides Rubedo's past at the Yuriev Institute. Just so you know I'm at the Ormus Stronghold at the moment running around in those yellow and blue elevator things.

Falling Leaves

(RubedoxSakura)

It was summer, his favorite season. His cheeks were a light shade of pink as he ran through the park in his home and his prison, the Yuriev Institute. The 12-year old URTV slowed to a stop as he neared a small structure situated in the middle of the artificial park, his grey boots lightly scuffing against the pristine stone path. Slowly, he approached an open window of the building and curiously peered inside like he had done countless times before. His cerulean eyes landed on her, and his heart pounded suddenly in his chest as he watched her play the piano elegantly, with no trace of emotion on her face. At this, he could feel his heart suddenly become heavy. But soon, someway…somehow he'd make sure that his wavelength would surely never fail her to repair her deficiency.

As he listened to her play that enchantingly sweet song, Juli Mizrahi smiled down at her daughter, helping her move her slender fingers along the ivory keys and humming to lighten the mood. Turning her head slightly, she glanced at Rubedo and offered a warm smile to the boy, who blushed in embarrassment. He scratched the back of his head, laughing nervously.

"H-Hey Dr. Mizrahi! How's Sakura doing?" Juli lifted her fingers off of the piano as Sakura continued to play, her olive eyes softening.

"Why don't you come inside, Rubedo? You want to hear Sakura play, don't you? I always see you listening from your place outside." Rubedo grinned and eagerly accepted the offer, climbing in through the window as only a child can. Juli laughed as he stumbled to the floor in a messy heap before scrambling over to the piano. He stood next to the sitting scientist as she resumed teaching Sakura the song he'd heard so many times.

"This song that Sakura plays…what would you say it makes you feel, Rubedo?" The variant leader paused and stared at Sakura whose eyes moved back and forth as her soft brown hair played with her silently moving lips. His first thought was sad, but that seemed too childish, and he wanted to impress the famous scientist. At parts in the melody it would also make him feel warmer inside, like Sakura was trying her best to reach out to him in the physical plane. As he contemplated, the song stopped as the young girl pressed the last chord down and slowly lowered her arms back to her lap. It suddenly seemed as if Sakura were awaiting his answer as well.

"W-Well…uhh…I'd say it makes me feel both happy and sad…content maybe?" he offered, grinning cutely. Juli laughed lightly, and Rubedo decided he liked it when the doctor laughed, as she barely did.

"Sometimes it's just so hard to believe that you children here at the institute are not really children after all…" Dr. Mizrahi whispered to herself, feeling a pang of sorrow hit her as she remembered that these "children" were only created as omnipotent retroviruses to battle U-DO's wavelength. Rubedo's grin faded somewhat as he heard her quiet words. But as she smiled at him sadly, he forced himself to return it, not wanting her to know that he had heard.

"Well, it seems that Sakura's done practicing for today. Rubedo, why don't you give her a walk around the park? It's such a lovely day." Juli stood up from the bench, her belts jingling. The red-head's eyes widened at Dr. Mizrahi's request and he restrained himself from blushing even more. Juli internally smiled at how cute he looked, and if she didn't have as much self-control, she would've cooed at how adorably he reacted.

"U-Uh are you sure that's ok? I-I mean, not that you shouldn't trust me! It's just that uh…well…never mind!" Rubedo replied with a stream of mixed up words. Juli smiled faintly, motioning for Sakura to stand up.

"I just want you to spend some time with my Sakura. You are her savior, after all…And for that, I can never thank you enough." Tears formed at the corners of her eyes and she quietly wiped them away, laughing shakily. "Oh dear, I'm getting so emotional these days."

Not knowing what to say or how to comfort her, he decided to stay silent as Sakura walked over to his side. As her white gown brushed against him he blushed again, his fingers twitching. After regaining her composure, the doctor patted Rubedo's head fondly and opened the door, ushering the two outside into the bright day.

Rubedo started to walk, and after a few steps he realized that Sakura wasn't following him. Turning around, he saw her standing alone a few paces behind, staring at the colorful flowers. Grinning, he ran over to her side and she glanced sideways at him expressionlessly before reaching out to touch a violet in full bloom.

"That's a violet! It's one of my favorite flowers here because I really like the color purple," he spoke as she ran her pale fingers over the velvet skin of the petals. He knew she wouldn't reply to his statement, but he still hoped and yearned that somehow she'd be able to say something, anything. But it never came, and he smiled some more instead.

"Well, I know you can hear me, heh, but I just want you to know, that I like spending time with you, Sakura. In reality and whenever I Encephalon dive. It's…nice to talk to someone who is as kind and understanding as you…" He blushed for the nth time as she slowly turned to face him, emerald eyes unseeing. They stood like that for a while before Sakura's hand slowly came up and she placed a cool hand on the side of his burning face. Somehow, Rubedo knew she was trying to say something, and his skin tingled at her gentle touch.

"Rubedo! Rubedo! Where are you?" Rubedo jumped as he heard Albedo yelling his name from not too far away. He gently pried Sakura's hand off of his face, feeling a jolt go through his veins. A sudden thought occurred to him. Did he really have feelings for Sakura? Or could it be that his wavelength and hers were just being attracted to neutralize each other? He stared into her hazy eyes, unsure and slightly upset. From behind him his white-haired half approached, purple eyes full of conflicting emotions. He sighed in relief as he found Rubedo, placing a small hand on the URTV's shoulder.

"Rubedo, Yuriev wants us to try diving into Sakura's subconscious again. Dr. Mizrahi wants to hear from her." At this, the red-haired boy brightened and grabbed Sakura's hand and followed Albedo as he ran on ahead inside the automatic doors of the institute.

As Albedo ran inside the diving room, Rubedo led Dr. Mizrahi's daughter inside the room next to it where the female scientist was standing next to Dmitri Yuriev with his arms crossed. As the doors hissed closed she turned around and greeted the two with a motherly smile.

"Did you two have fun?" Juli asked as they came to a stop in front of her. Rubedo nodded energetically, reluctantly letting go of Sakura's hand. "That's wonderful. Well, you'll get to spend some more time with my daughter! Please keep her happy." Rubedo nodded again, determined.

"Don't worry, Dr. Mizrahi, I'll do my best!" Dr. Mizrahi smiled slightly and nodded in approval before turning back to converse with Yuriev. Turning back around the URTV ran into the other room where his friends were situated inside their separate diving modules.

"What took you so long?" Nigredo piped up, lifting his head up inquiringly. The red-head jumped into his module in-between Albedo and Nigredo and shrugged half-heartedly as the glass shield caged him inside. Nigredo frowned slightly before shrugging it off and lying his head back down, staring up at the blank ceiling, his ebony hair hiding his eyes. Albedo opted not to say anything, but the worry was evident in his amethyst eyes.

Rubedo closed his eyes and the machines started humming. He sighed in annoyance as he felt his stomach drop, used to the feeling of diving. It felt like he was free-falling from the sky with nothing to hang onto, and he could hear Albedo whimpering as usual and Nigredo reassuring his friend. After what seemed like a few short seconds, the humming stopped and Rubedo slowly opened his eyes, greeted by the sight of Sakura's subconscious domain materializing before him. Suddenly he could feel the ground beneath him and see the gas station to his left as his vision focused. As soon as he felt the other two URTVs' presence behind him, he started jogging down the path ahead, eager to talk to Sakura.

The birds flying in the clear blue sky seemed realistic as they chirped a cheery tune, flapping their wings every now and then. The humidity in the summer air was just right, and he could feel a soothing sweat roll down the side of his face as he ran. The gravel crunched lightly against his grey boots in a rhythm only he could hear, and in the distance he could see Sakura's home approaching. He quickened his pace slightly and ignored Albedo's whines to slow down, heart racing. Only when he was a few yards from her doorstep did he slow to a stop, breathing heavily. Flowers danced lazily in the welcome breeze in her yard, and the red-head noted that there were quite a few violets growing off to one side. Grinning secretly to himself, he stepped up the wooden stairs to the porch as the other two URTVs arrived.

The door opened and Rubedo's heart stopped as Sakura stepped over the threshold, a smile on her pretty face. "Rubedo! I'm so glad you came!" she exclaimed, embracing him. He froze before awkwardly returning the embrace and then letting himself melt into it. She felt so warm and…alive. A cough behind them jolted him awake and he turned around to see Nigredo with his arms crossed and a smug smile on his face while Albedo awkwardly scratched his neck.

Sakura laughed lightly, her light voice making him smile. "Oh, and hello to Albedo and Nigredo as well!" She started down the front steps of the porch and Rubedo followed after, suddenly wanting to spend time with her alone. "Well, what shall we do today?"

"Let's go to the beach!" Albedo chirped up. Sakura smiled serenely and nodded in agreement.

"Alright, let's go. I just love going to the beach!" At this Albedo's eyes widened and a silly smile appeared on his face as he nodded happily. The foursome started their way down the path as Albedo started to excitedly talk about going to the beach. Even though they had gone together so many times, it never ceased to fascinate the boy. Sakura smiled fondly at Albedo and nodded her head to the white-haired URTV as Rubedo walked beside her.

"Albedo is always so open and emotional," Sakura spoke softly. At this Rubedo responded with a slight nod, straying away from her face to Albedo's.

"Yeah, but that's what gets him in trouble most of the time," he said conversationally, earning a giggle from the brunette.

Ba bump.

"Mhm…Well I hope Albedo never changes. I like him like that. I wouldn't want him to be sad and quiet, or afraid, and he shouldn't be with you around." Sakura's eyes twinkled as Rubedo blushed. "And I don't want you to change either, Rubedo," she added quietly, and Rubedo noted with surprise that her cheeks were flushed.

"I won't." He gently grasped her hand reassuringly and a look of surprise appeared on her face before she shyly squeezed his hand, looking down at the ground as she kept her hand there as they continued walking. After a few minutes of silent walking except for the occasional sarcastic remarks from Nigredo and excited shouts from Albedo, the four 12-year olds arrived at the artificial beach.

Immediately the white-haired URTV stampeded toward the clear blue water excitedly, taking in a deep breath of the clean air. Nigredo stood by his friend with his arms by his sides, calm and quiet as usual. Sakura took a seat on a stray log and Rubedo sat to her right as she tilted her head back and stared up at the blue sky. After a while she spoke.

"You know, before you three came, I was always so alone. And no matter what I created within my mind, I was always left feeling so empty. This whole domain in my mind, when you peel away the fake things, there's nothing left. And I…I had almost given up hope when you guys tumbled in through my closet," she paused for a short giggle, "And I just want to thank you again for coming to visit. I don't want Mommy to be sad anymore, and I'm also glad that I had the chance to meet you, Rubedo." The way she said those last few words made it sound like she was certain she would leave this world soon. And it made him realize that he might not be successful in helping her recover from her illness.

"Sakura," Rubedo started, placing a hand lightly on her shoulder, "I just want you to know that…if…when you recover, you be sure to come see me at my dad's institute, alright? I'd like to hear you play the piano a-and well…" He scratched his head nervously.

"And what?" Sakura asked innocently, probing him with her deep green eyes. The gentle zephyr from the sea breeze played with light brown strands of her hair.

"I just don't want you to forget me." Sakura's eyes widened as Rubedo looked down and kicked shyly at the sand, spraying brown diamonds into the air. There was a brief pause before Rubedo felt her cool fingers gently lift his chin up, a genuine smile on her rosy lips. His breath caught in his throat.

"I could never forget a wonderful boy like you," she whispered. She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek and he turned bright red, avoiding her eyes. She giggled at his reaction, turning pink herself.

"Get a room, you two!" Nigredo hollered from the shore of the beach, smirking while Albedo grinned from his kneeling position as he was currently building a sandcastle. The referred to couple bowed their heads in embarrassment, a secretive smile on both their faces.

In the sweet warmth of the summer, autumn seemed much too far away to be of concern, but eventually the rich green leaves of the season fell from the branches of the trees and faded into brown and amber, and inevitably died with time, lost forever in the snow when winter arrived.

A/N-And that's it for RubedoxSakura. Tell me what you think and tell me if you think I should continue! I know there really wasn't that much interaction but I don't know much about Sakura's character and I didn't want this story to become like complete mushy-wushy smut xD. And the last paragraph is just hinting that Sakura dies as you all know. Anyway, reviews would be greatly appreciated!

Moshi Moshi Mai