A/N: Gals! Not mine, don't sue. The following fic features a RanxRei pairing. Slightly AU.


After the Sunset

Chapter I

10 years.

It has been ten years since that day, when he turned his back on her, and made himself believe that he would go on, and could go on with another. It seemed to be the most logical and right thing to do at that time, as everything seemed to point him at that direction. They left for England, marking what they thought was a fresh start for them.

Both of them paid dearly for that decision.

They tried to make it work. Both shared the hope that maybe time would take them closer, their budding affection with each other could be that much-needed spark that could bloom into something more than just… a very comfortable and familiar relationship. But they never really became happy, as couples were supposed to. Those years spent only made it painfully clear to her, and finally to him, that his heart never left Shibuya... or the flaming-red haired slip of a girl, whose embarrassing antics, guilelessness, and completely uncontrolled temper, had managed to capture his heart and keep it.

Rei Otohata stubbed out his cigarette, crinkling his nose at the offending smoke. He didn't really like to smoke, but when his mind invariably slips to the past, a puff of that cigarette could be of some use.

"Gosh, Rei." Yuuya's voice broke through the chatter of the café. "If you keep that up, you'll be dead long before you see my kids."

"I don't do this everyday." Rei countered, pushing the ashtray away from him. He went back to sipping his coffee, already cold from inattention.

Yuuya raised his eyes heavenward. "Yeah, but when you do, you burn the whole pack." "Man, you gotta do something else. Chew gum, or something."

"Not my style." Rei surveyed the café owned by none other than Yuuya and Mami Honda. Rei also chipped in his share, which was considerable. Having ridiculuously large shares of stocks named for him right after he was born, Rei didn't have any qualms about taking business risks. He didn't have to work a day in his life—money worked for him. Yuuya meanwhile, was determined to put up a business that wasn't already established by the family, and so far, they've been very successful.

"You've got some place here, Yuuya." Rei gave him small smile. "I heard you're putting up your third branch—in Singapore."

"Isn't it fantastic?" Yuuya enthused, his face brightening up. "I think the Japanese anime café theme really did it. It makes our café stand out, the ambiance is really colorful and fun."

"I'm really happy for you, Yuuya." Rei began lighting another cigarette.

Yuuya sighed at the sight. He might have missed a lot of things about Rei when he was younger, especially when he was so wrapped up with his insane crush with Ran. Yuuya had long suspected the reason for the painful and messy break-up with Aya, the numerous but shallow flings that followed after that, but Yuuya never gathered enough courage to say it out loud. Rei was a very private person, and extremely defensive one at that, especially in matters concerning his feelings and relationships.

"Have you been… seeing somebody?"

Rei raised his brows. "Somebody--?"

"You know. Special."

Rei snorted. "I've given that part up." 'Don't you serve anything stronger than coffee?" Rei whispered conspiratorially. An uncharacteristic sneer stretched on Rei's face. "I bet you get a lot of girls here."

Yuuya's eyes darkened. "Rei. This is a café, not a bar."

Rei curved a corner of his mouth . "Just asking, Yuuya."

Yuuya stopped talking, his hand on the table curling into a fist. "Rei, if you have "problems" you don't need to drown yourself in alcohol."

"I don't have "problems"." Rei waved his cigarette hand. "I'm just – how do the Americans say it—chilling out."

"Stop pining over Ran."

Rei let out a laugh. "Now that's new."

"It's not." Yuuya said determinedly. "I've been a jerk before, but I know you've been in love with her."

Rei rolled his eyes. "It was a high school thing." "Everyone goes through that phase." Rei smirked, leaning back to the plush seat. "I seem to remember that you were in similar state back then."

"You're right." Yuuya acceded readily. "But I'm fine now. I got over it."

"I think you never did."

Yuuya stared his friend down, ignoring the dangerous glint to Rei's eyes. "You never backed down from anything, but you chickened out from telling a girl what you really felt."

"Things were a bit more complicated back then." Rei took an exasperated drag from his cigarette. "It's in the past -- why on earth are we talking about this now?"

Yuuya reached into his pocket, and began scribbling on a piece of paper.

"That's where she works."

Rei was quiet, the cigarette smoke floating unheeded to his face.

"Go to her. I think its time you settled this once and for all."