Well, here we go. I finally posted my R/M fic. sigh Only took me forever. It's not that long, I believe 4-5 pages, so short and sweet. One-shot all the way, baby. Tell me what you think!

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own s-CRY-ed. That would be nice though. . .

Edited Edition: July 16, 2007 (Smoothed over some rough grammar and formating problems)

Time passes in such weird ways. At some points, it zooms by faster than anyone could wish. Then, it does a 180 and slows to an unbearable rate. The past ten months had flowed in that exact pattern. They were always changing the speed and leaving Mimori in a blur. Sometimes it was hard to believe that those months had passed, and others, it seemed that they took an infinite amount of time to end.

Within that time frame, Mimori had seen such a change in the Lost Ground. People began rising together, building cities and farms. Their lives turned from nothing to everything. Mimori helped anyway she could. Teaching, watching the younger children, and cooking up meals for workers had become part of her daily life. It was so different than her life a year ago. . .where the people cowered but now, everything had changed.

The people resisted any type of Main Land attack; they were all determined for independence. No one ever said it was going to be easy; the Main Land kept a consisted rate of battles flying to the Lost Ground. But, instead of fleeing and hiding, common people began taking up arms and doing whatever they could to defend their home.

Course, the Lost Ground had its own supreme defense barrier. The alters Kazuma and Ryuho made their independence clear to the Main Land. Most of the advances from the Main Land ended in the sky in a bloody swirl of attacks.

"Ryuho." Mimori sighed silently.

A knock came from the door. Mimori shook her head, clearing her thoughts. "Maybe one of my students?"

Her slender hand turned the door knob, "How can I help-" Suddenly her voice was caught in her throat, she couldn't finish her sentence. The man standing on the other side of her door–the man she'd been thinking about daily–was Ryuho.

Their eyes met, one set confused, the other unemotional. Seconds passed, Mimori couldn't speak; her words failed her. She closed her open mouth in defeat, there were no words to say. Every thing that came to her mind seemed out of place and awkward. The last time she talked to him she had blurted her feelings out.

So now she couldn't speak to him?

"Miss Kiryu."

Ryuho's ever-calm voice snapped Mimori back to reality. "May I come in?"

A flush appeared on her face as she replied, "Yes of course." He stepped in and she closed the door, thoughts and worries flying through her head. Mimori refused to look into his eyes, afraid of what she might see. Ryuho remained silent and followed her into the kitchen area without a word. The only sound was the soft padding of footsteps down the hallway.

Determined to break the silence Mimori asked, "Can I get you anything?" She gestured for him to take a seat on the small couch. "Coffee or tea or anything?" Mimori hoped her voice didn't give away the awkwardness she felt. Her brown eyes glued themselves to the floor.

"Coffee please."

With a small nod she turned and clicked on the coffee. While fiddling with the machine, Mimori studied Ryuho out of the corner of her eye.

His emerald hair was slightly longer, it touched his shoulders lightly. The battered and torn HOLY uniform still clung to his body. Ryuho's eyes were still blazing crimson, bright and glaring as always. He seemed to be in good health conditions. Mimori sighed in relief.

Mimori did take note of the lines on his face, however. They had lengthened over the last months no doubt due to his extensive alter power usage.

"Ryuho, you shouldn't push yourself so hard."

Without ever realizing it, Mimori poured two cups of the black beverage, placed them on a tray, and set them on the table in front the couch. Once again her eyes focused on anything but Ryuho's face. Her fingers gripped the mug. Another awkward silence entered the room.

And yet, Ryuho drank his coffee, still saying nothing. Whether or not he felt uncomfortable, Mimori couldn't tell. But she noticed that he never looked at her directly either.

"Why has he come here?"

"I see you once again ignored my request for you to leave."

Back to that subject again. Mimori lowered her head with a guilty smile. "Well, I thought my work was better suited here. With the Lost Ground rebuilding itself, I, I thought I could help." Her head lifted, "I wish you weren't so eager to get rid of me."

Ryuho widened his eyes in thought and looked at her. "You should know my demand was for your safety." Pausing, he fingered the mug. Mimori tilted her head, waiting for him to continue.

His fiery eyes focused on the opposite wall. "I've done a lot of thinking lately, Mimori. Mostly on subjects I had chosen to ignore for years." Ryuho's hand placed the mug on the table and then found the other hand, lacing them together. His thumbs rested on his temples. "What is my purpose with HOLY gone and disbanded? At least when I was in HOLY I had some sort of purpose. Even protecting the Lost Ground from the Mainland has lost its. . ."

Mimori studied him and suddenly knew what he was talking about. The feeling of not being needed. She was almost ashamed to admit it, but at the moment, anger swelled inside her. What right did he have to say that? When he shunned her, she–at times–didn't feel wanted or needed. And now he wanted sympathy from her? But immediately, Mimori mentally slapped herself. Ryuho had fought for the Lost Ground's freedom, and now, it was nearly in their grasps; he wondered where to take his life next. Should she be angered by that?

Her hand gently rested on Ryuho's shoulder. Red eyes met brown. Mimori finally found her voice, "Ryuho, you don't have to face this alone. I would do anything, anything, to help you."

His handsome face cracked a smile. "I thought you would say that, Miss Kiryu. You're always caring about everyone else. The world could use more people like you. And I was a fool for not noticing that earlier."

"Ryuho." Her face flushed.

"You're probably wondering what I'm doing here." His focus was, once again, on the opposite wall.

Mimori's hand carried a stray hair behind her ear. "The question did come to mind." Her voice was steady, even though she was taken aback by his abrupt change in subject. Exactly what did Ryuho come here for? The random day hardly seemed to have any kind of significance.

"I came to apologize."

"To . . . apologize?" Mimori stammered as she repeated his cause. "Ryuho, I have no idea what you've done wrong."

Another smile appeared on his face, yet this one was sarcastic. "Apparently, I've looked at my life wrong." His head turned again and looked at her. "I'm apologizing for my actions to you during your stay at HOLY. You did not deserve my cold shoulder."

He hesitated again, "My actions, at the time . . . I thought they would be for the best. But now I'm not too sure." Ryuho's gaze rested on the wall again, yet he did not see the wall. Recollections of memories and conversations entered his head.

"Ever since Mother died, and I lost everything . . . Life, life had turned pointless. I closed up, not wanting the warmth of company." His hand ran through his hair absentmindedly. "I even pushed you away."

Mimori turned away for a moment, his words' meaning finally reaching her. He was explaining himself. The eighteen-year-old shook her head slightly, "Ryuho, there's no need for you to–,"

"Yes, I feel there is a need." He cut her off by placing a finger to her lips. "I've kept my thoughts to myself for too long. By doing so, I've caused more pain." Ryuho's eyes blazed with determination. Not the same determination when he was fighting, that was fury and the need to be the best. But this determination glared in his eyes with a passion, he set out to do something and nothing would stop him.

Sighing with understanding, Mimori waited for him to continue.

"Shutting everyone out seemed like a reasonable solution. I would achieve my personal goals and never have to deal with useless feelings again." His face remained serious, staring at Mimori with soft eyes. "But, I was a fool. And so I found companionship useless. Perhaps I was selfish. I would keep everyone away from me in order to save myself . . . and others . . . from pain."

"However, even that failed. Scheris Adjani developed feelings for me. And though I couldn't return them, she still lost her life for me." The young alter user rubbed his forehead, thinking, putting words and sentences together.

Mimori dropped her head as well. How could she forget the blue-haired alter user? The other woman who had fallen in love with Ryuho. Although neither of them ever stated it, there was a competition between both of them. Yet, it never was hostile. Why did it have to end so unfortunately?

Lifting his head, Ryuho began again, "I couldn't deal with the fact that another lost their life because of me. So," he glanced at her again, "When you said that you loved me, I couldn't, I refused to have someone that close to me again." Red eyes darted to the floor, and his left hand found his right, resting on his head again.

Mimori flushed slightly. "I," she struggled for the right wording. "I'm sorry."

As she finished her sentence, Ryuho's head snapped up, "No, Mimori," his voice was firm. "You have no reason to apologize, and I refuse to accept any apology you make. When I pushed you away after you said that, something inside broke. A hole got bigger, the hole that was inflicted to me when I lost my mother."

"Yet, I ignored it. I was disgusted with myself that I let another person become close to me. But as the months wore on I found myself thinking. 'Is this how I'm to spend my life? Repay Scheris–and myself–by living alone'?" He was mocking himself again.

"I kept thinking about her sacrifice but also all I had done for this world. Was I meant to live alone? I know it was selfish, but I wanted to feel whole again. I wanted repaid for everything. I wanted to be happy!" Ryuho's voice immediately dropped to its calm tone, his head turning away.

"I thought of seeing you. I thought about you a lot. But I couldn't bring myself to visit you after what I had said. I didn't deserve your kindness, your sympathy, or anything you could give me. But I wanted it." He mocked laughed again. "I was still the selfish bastard that I always had been. But I refused to push my problems on you. So, I began looking for another cure to my . . . problem."

Mimori reached out to touch him and he brushed her hand away. "I couldn't find one. I searched and in between my searches I fought the Main Land, hoping to take my mind off of these things."

His cool hand slipped over hers, "But, I still found none." His intense gaze never wavered. "But, it finally hit me, that the only person who could save me, who could heal me," he squeezed her hand tighter, "was the person I pushed away–you. I needed your forgiveness, I needed your warmth."

Mimori blinked in surprise, her thoughts flying. His pain could only be lessened by her? "Ryuho."

It was as if he took his name as permission; Ryuho enclosed the space between them and drew Mimori close. Softly, he placed his lips on hers, sealing his words.

Mimori could feel all his emotions; his love–the soft kiss–, his desire–the small flick of his tongue against hers–and his protectiveness symbolized by his arms tightly wrapping themselves around her waist. It suddenly felt so right.

"I'll never leave you, Mimori. I can't." He said.

And Mimori believed his words.

Eh. Maybe a little cliched? Maybe not. I'll only know if you tell me. Constructive criticism is always welcomed. -randomcat23