Disclaimer. I do NOT own Pretear!

Author's Note: This is for all my wonderful reviewers, but in particular for Spirit of Innocence. Thank you very much to everyone of you for all the kind words, the encouragement and the compliments. Without you, I would have stopped writing a long time ago.


Always in the shadows; always in his shadow. Always on step too far from reaching you, touching your heart-the heart that belonged to another.

I loved you, loved to see the smile that you so eagerly bestowed on him, despite it telling me where your thoughts lied; I admired the bravery you displayed in every single battle and the elegance with which you fought. He did too. But his was just admiration, he never saw past what you let him see; he never saw despair and anger slowly claim your heart painful second by painful second. I did, but I had to remain silent, to guard your secret, hoping against myself that he will reciprocate and make you happy. Even if it meant losing you. I wanted you to be happy.
In the shadows I remained, watching over you, bleeding with you, as both our hearts spun into oblivion. You lost him and I lost you. Both our hearts sought refuge in the shadows- you lost yourself in them.

That day, seared forever in my mind, I had to do what was best. My duty as a Knight had to come before my will as a man, and so I had to give you up forever to a prison of darkness. I was denied even the uttering of your name, and as I saw you disappear, it was his voice that called you in anguish.

Takako-a simple word. It broke me, yet I could show no weakness, no pain, no compassion. Hayate's voice echoes still, like an arctic wind slashing at my memory. He never loved you, yet he was allowed these feelings, whereas I who consecrated my existence to you, I could not even have the memory of your name spilling from my lips.

Takako. The name of the woman I loved, the name of the woman I love still; yet I was forbidden from speaking it. You would never know you had been loved -I forever remained silent. What irony the fates have dealt, that I who control sound should not be able to use it when most my heart needed it.

For I was denied: by you, by my nature, by fate.

I loved in silence, and in silence I lost you.

A/N: Hope you like this. Thank you very much minna-san.