A/N: Here's another sad one. Also and other AayaXTori…I'm a bit obsessed with that pairing if you haven't noticed.

Disclaimer: I don't own Furuba and I'm not making money off this either

Ratings: PG

Genre: Angst

Warnings: One-sided shounen-ai…

Main Characters: Hatori and Ayame

Additional Notes: I'm done blabbing…let's get to the story!

Better Left Unsaid

That alabaster hand brushed his and he flinched. Why had he never seen how those eyes looked at him in absolute adoration and—no. He wouldn't admit it. Admitting it would make it real, more solid.

"Tori-san?" Golden eyes were confused, a secret thread of pain behind themthat he noticed for the first time. "Is something wrong?"

He swallowed, forcing a nervous smile. "No, everything's fine Ayame."

A beaming smile in return for a cruel lie. "Good! I was worried for a moment—after all, you have been overworking yourself lately. We wouldn't want you to catch sick,now would we?"

A weakly forced smile and a sip of tea. He couldn't take that smile anymore—that forced, overly bright façade he'd never seen through before… "Ayame," he started hesitantly, setting down the tea; golden eyes looked at him, hopeful and frightened. "I'm afraid I must go now; I have to see Akito and…and Kureno was looking pale…"

Ayame looked down at his own tea. "Of course Tori-san!" he laughed hollowly. "I suppose I'll see you soon then?"

"Of course Ayame."

With that, he fled, unable to take any more.

/\\\

"Shigure!"

The other man blinked as Hatori shut the study door and began pacing. "Haa-san? What are you doing here?"

"Why didn't you tell me?" snapped Hatori.

Shigure frowned, closing the book he'd been reading. "Tell you what, exactly?"

"About Ayame…about his…feelings for me…"

The dog turned serious and sharp, his chocolate eyes narrowing nearly to slits. "He told you?" he asked. "Or did you finally notice?"

Hatori looked away. "I noticed. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because, Aaya asked me not to." Shigure sighed, fiddling with a pen on his desk. "And what good would it have done?"

A tired sigh. "None, I suppose."

"Will you tell him?" asked Shigure suddenly, eyes boring a hole in the dragon. "Finally confirm his greatest fear and worst nightmare?"

Emerald eyes closed and he shivered. "I…I don't know…"

A small smile, sad and hollow, tugged at the dog's mouth. "Here's a better question: do you have his stamina for the game—to a wear a mask twenty-four seven?"

Hatori didn't answer. Gold flashed before his eyes and he flinched. "I…I have to go Shigure…"

The dog nodded. "Of course. And Haa-san? Whatever you choose to do, be sure to think of Aaya beforehand."

/\\\

The shop was rather deserted when Hatori entered. Emerald eyes scanned the empty rows, nervous and anxious. He sighed, turning to leave.

"Onii-san, I'm sorry; may I help you?"

The dragon turned to see an energetic, bright woman with glasses and a maid outfit looking curiously at him. "Miine-san?"

She blinked. "Yes, that's me. What can I do for you?"

"Is Ayame here?"

Miine frowned, tapping a finger to her lips. "No; Tenchou wasn't feeling well today so he went home early—why?"

Hatori sighed. "Good. Miine-san…you…you know Ayame pretty well, right?" She nodded. "Will you help me?"

She cocked her head to the side, confused. She motioned for him to follow her to the backroom and they took up seats opposite each other on the couches. "Now," she said. "What do you need help with?"

Hatori shifted uncomfortably on the cushion. "Does…does Ayame love me?"

"Well, that depends," muttered Miine, "On who's asking."

"Hatori—Sohma Hatori."

Miine looked away for a moment. "It seems that you don't need me to tell you—just confirm it for you."

"Well?"

"Yes, Tenchou loves you with all his heart—you are his only light," answered the woman softly. Hatori sighed, dropping his head to his hands. Miine frowned. "It seems that you don't return those feelings," she murmured. "Straight?"

Hatori nodded. "Very. How," he paused, hesitating as he glanced up at Miine's soft brown eyes. "How do I tell him…that I don't love him like that?"

"You just say it and hope for the best." Miine sighed. "Be reassuring that you'll still be there for him—that this won't change the love you do have for him—that you'll always be friends…"

Hatori nodded. "I…I'll try… Thank you Miine-san."

She smiled sadly. "I hope my advice will help…"

/\\\

Ayame sat, quietly staring out at the compound, when Hatori found him two days later. His silver hair flowed freely to his waist, his kimono loose and elegant; Hatori couldn't help but feel the twinge of guilt in his chest.

"Ayame…"

The other man turned, golden eyes wide and beautiful, though cracks ran through them. "Tori-san? What are you doing here?"

Hatori fought the urge to remind that snake that he lived there and shook his head. "Ayame…there's something I need to tell you….something you need to know…"

Ayame blinked, pleasantly confused. "Yes?"

Emerald eyes closed. "Ayame, I'm so sorry… I apologize…but I…I don't love you…"

Gold froze, Ayame's lips trembled lightly. He fought to keep his face frozen to a broken grin, his eyes from showing the webbing cracks. "What…what do you mean Tori-san?"

Hatori's face was drawn, pained when he opened his eyes again. "Ayame, I know—I know… I'm sorry Ayame, but I'm straight…I can't love you like that…"

The snake looked away, the mask of cheer dissolved, his eyes wide and glistening with gathering tears. "H-how…?" He looked back. "Tori-san, how?"

Hatori sighed, looking down, away from those shattered eyes. "I…I noticed… I…I made Shigure and Miine-san tell me… Listen Ayame, just because I don't love you that way doesn't mean I don't love you as a friend! Please Ayame, I will always be your friend—"

"Stop," hissed Ayame. "Stop calling me that! It hurts more than the fact!"

"But it's true!"

Ayame stood, his arms around himself, bent in agony, face crumbling, his broken eyes wide—lost in a living nightmare. "Do you enjoy pouring salt in the wounds?" he asked, his voice shadowed with pain and bitterness.

Hatori could say nothing other than a sorrowful "I'm sorry Ayame…I'm sorry…"

Spidery hands covered that drawn, grimacing mouth as Ayame shook his head, silver hair rippling and flying. "It's not enough," he whispered. "It's not enough…"

Before Hatori could stop him, Ayame ran, scrambling away. The dragon could only stare after him in muted shock and loss; unbearable loneliness. A few leaves blew past, away from him, sakura petals—so out of season—with them.

Ayame…

/\\\

"Shigure…"

The dog didn't look away as he poured his strong black coffee in the mug—the mug Ayame had given him the Christmas before. "I hope you're happy Haa-san," he said, finally speaking. "Your stupidity has finally reared its ugly head and it has a damn painful bite."

Hatori frowned, eyes weary. "What are you talking about?"

Shigure laughed hollowly. "I hope you'll pay for the long distance bills—after all, you're the reason he's moving."

"Moving?" echoed Hatori uneasily. "Who?"

Shigure's chocolate eyes were piercing as they locked with the dragon's. "Aaya; he's moving to Paris."

Emerald widened, electric fear surging through him. "What?"

The dog nodded. "He's leaving," Shigure paused, glancing at the clock, "In about forty-five minutes, for Paris, France with Miine-chan."

/\\\

"Ayame!"

The snake turned, his eyes wide and his hair wind-blown. His mouth was slack, open in shock and pain when he spotted the dragon.

"Ayame!" Hatori rushed past the guards, emerald eyes focused on the snake. "Wait!"

Ayame chewed his lip for a moment before hurrying toward the boarding steps. He wasn't fast enough, however, and Hatori's hand clamped on his wrist. The snake turned back, angry tears coursing down his pale face. "What," he snapped. "Come to pour in more salt?"

Hatori flinched but didn't let go. "Why are you doing this?"

Silence for a moment. "Because I can't bear to look at you," hissed Ayame. "All I see when I do are my broken dreams, my shattered fantasies! And you can't tell me you wouldn't feel awkward with me around, knowing what you know—I just can't stay here anymore!"

"But Aaya—"

"Don't." Ayame shook his head, freeing his wrist from the dragon's hold. "Please, Tori-san—some things are better left unsaid…"

Hatori watched, eyes burning, as Ayame left, running the rest of the flight of stairs to the plane door. Hatori stood, tears slipping past his sable lashes and down his cheeks. The guards led him away as the plane began down the runway and took off, taking part of his bleeding soul with it.

"Ayame," he whispered as his eyes followed the fading silhouette of the plane and his friend. The snake had been right, Hatori realized too late—some things were better left unsaid…

/Owari\\\

A/N: Wow. Sad! I hope you liked though… Please, tell me what you thought—review! Perhaps I could be persuaded to continue this one...or create a sequel? Again, fiver reviews before I will!