Two hours, forty five minutes.

That's how long Shigure had been pacing the hallway. He glanced at the doorway, half expecting to hear her screaming. But he wouldn't. She wasn't that kind of woman.

The Sohma family (save Akito, of course) were gathered in a huddle, just a few feet away from him. They would be there for her in this, just like she had always been there for them. A man who loved her more than life itself was sitting against the wall, head upon his knees.

Her husband was in the room with her, witnessing the event, holding her hand. Shigure could easily imagine his pale face and worried eyes as he stood helplessly watching the woman he loved going through the worst torture imaginable.

Nothing would be the same ever again.

The announcement had come out of the blue. He well remembered Tohru's face as Hatori told her the news - he'd never seen her so shocked. They hadn't planned for this, hadn't expected it, hadn't prepared. Her husband near fainted when he found out, steadied only by his wife's sure grip.

Three hours. Should it be taking this long?

They had discussed taking Tohru to the hospital, but she had been adamant that she wanted it to happen at the Sohma estate, surrounded by those she considered family. And the Jyuunishi had taken the burden of support upon themselves gladly. She tried to put a brave face on, but they could see the pain in her eyes, and it scared the younger ones. Shigure had done his best to calm them, but was feeling the strain himself.

Three hours, twenty minutes.

What was taking so damn long?

The man who loved her had put a gentle kiss upon her forehead before she entered the room, wishing her luck.

Three hours, thirty five minutes.

Akito was sulking in his room, furious at the way his pets gathered around her.

Three hours, forty minutes.

Rin had hugged her, long and silent, before returning to Haru's arms.

Three hours, fifty minutes.

Kisa and Momiji had crowded around her, asking questions and drowning out Hiro's scathing remarks.

Four hours.

Ayame had presented her with an entire new wardrobe as a gift.

Four hours, ten minutes.

Shigure himself had promised to visit often, after an apartment suitable had been found.

Four hours, twenty three minutes.

Ritsu had even dressed in men's clothing for the event.

Four hours, thirty four minutes.

Kagura had given her a beautiful diamond necklace.

Four hours, forty seven minutes.

Hatori emerged.

"It is finished."

Yuki began sobbing as Kyo emerged, cradling Tohru in his arms. He walked silently through the crowd with blank face and hard eye. He would take her to Uo and Hanajima, who had agreed to take care of her. They had been told Tohru was getting a divorce.

Shigure looked at Hatori as the door shut behind the distraught man and his unconscious wife. "What took so long?"

Hatori looked as passive as ever. "They needed to say goodbye."

Kisa was curled between Momiji and Hiro, crying silently. Kagura was attempting to comfort Yuki. Haru and Rin had disappeared. Ritsu was leaning on Ayame, who was staring at his brother.

Tohru wouldn't remember them. But they would never forget her.