"Tamaki? Tamaki, where are you?" a hacking, low cough came from behind the bed curtains, and a twinge stirred against his heart.

"Here, Mother. I'm right here." He said hurriedly, but he did not push the curtains away. His eyes stung too much, and he didn't want his mother seeing that.

"Closer, Tamaki. I want to see your face." She whispered slowly, tiredly, her voice a raspy echo of the quiet harmony it had once been.

Tamaki swallowed, hard, and rubbed at his eyes hurriedly. Stop. I won't cry about this. This is my decision.

He opened the curtains, smiling as wide as possible, until it began to hurt. His eyes sparkled, but not with joy.

"Oh... my sweet darling little boy. My Soleil..." His mother's hair, was luxuriant and glossy, was ragged and lackluster. Tamaki clenched his fist, but would not cry.

Her hand, a pale color that scared Tamaki every day, reached out for him, gently caressing his cheek. "I love you, Bien-aimé. You know that, right." Her smile, something so beautiful that his father had fallen in love with it on first sight, seemed dulled and weakened and Tamaki's heart was breaking.

"I know, Mama. I know." He leaned into her hand, soft, cupping his fine features as though trying to pour all the warmth of a mother's love into him. He savored it for a moment, doing his best to retain the memory of it.

"And that's why I'm going to accept Grandmother's offer, and go to Japan."

His mother shrunk away, her warm hand leaving his side for a moment. "Tamaki..."

"It's okay, Mother." Tamaki smiled, not forcing himself to this time. "Father has reserved a place for me at Ouran High School. I'll get the best education possible. And one day, Grandmother will accept me."

There was no hesitation, no stutter. He believed in these things. He would do these things.

"I... I..." she began sob, her body quivering and shuddering as the pain of letting go sank into her heart, like a descending sword. "I will miss you very much, my Soleil."

"And I will miss you, Mama." Tamaki smiled, embracing her with a sweeping, gentle comfort. He stayed there, holding his mother to his chest, his shirt soaking in her tears, taking them away.

"I love you very much, Mama," he whispered softly, gently.

And, at last, he pulled away, as her shuddering sobs finally ceased. "I'll move to Japan alone." He murmured softly, his smile never dimming once. "I'll be fine. So, Mama, please... stay healthy."

She began to cry again, and Tamaki hesitated, his body frozen.

There was a knock against the door. "Master Tamaki. The plane is waiting." The man said quietly, obviously uncomfortable with stepping into such a scene.

Tamaki's legs hesitated, only for a moment. He smiled wider, without pain, and stepped away from his mother, but never took his eyes off of her.

"Goodbye, Mama."

Translation Notes

Soleil- Sun. Kind of a pun in English.

Bien-aimé- Beloved.