Bittersweet

How many people did God plan on taking away from her? How many times was she going to have to bury a loved one? This time, God went too far… He -- He had killed Kyo.

It had been a day as normal as any other, except for the rain that poured from the heavens…and Kyo was in an even worse mood than usual because of it. He had only gone out for ten, maybe fifteen minutes…That's all the time it takes to be murdered, though…That's all the time it takes to have your life ripped away from you, to have your only chance at telling the person you love just how much you need them taken away before you can take advantage of it.

Tohru had been dealing with His death the best, and only, way that she knew how…Taking care of everyone else within a five mile radius. She couldn't stop working, because if she did all of those horrible thoughts about being with him in heaven would invade her mind, all those images of a knife in her hand and a smile of her face…a smile that came from the knowledge that soon she would be with her beloved Kyo-Kun.

She turned back to the meal she was preparing for Kisa and Momiji, desperately trying to stop the tears that had sprung up in her eyes from overflowing onto her cheeks. As Tohru was tossing the salt into her special sauce, strong arms wrapped around her waist and soft lips gently kissed her temple.

"You need to rest, Tohru. You can't be working yourself so hard, not now that you're pregnant."

"Don't worry, Kyo. I'm perfectly fine and I promise that I am not working myself too hard, or really any at all. Dinner doesn't really classify as a strenuous activity, does it?"

The vision vanished as Tohru was dragged out of her reverie by her Daughter's insistent tug on her apron.

"Mommy, what are having for dinner tonight? Can we have Sukiyaki, mommy? Pleeease?"

Tohru found it impossible to sulk when her adorable 7 year old daughter, Kyoko, looked at her with those crimson eyes that reminded her so much of Kyo.

"Mommy, who's that… Oh, hey! He looks like that man that I talk to sometimes. He said that he knew me, Mommy... How does he know me?"

Tohru had heard nothing of what her daughter was saying after she asked who the man was. She had whirled around, the sauce from her spoon splattering against the walls of the kitchen. She couldn't hold back the gasp that escaped her throat when she saw who the man was, who he seemed to be. It couldn't be…She had been there, at the hospital, when Kyo took his last breath. She had been there when he was pronounced dead…9:17 p.m. on February 18th, 2000. It couldn't be…But it was. Kyo was standing in the doorway of the kitchen, gazing at their daughter with a smile on his face.

"K--Kyo…It's impossible…"

He was walking towards her, his hands moving forward, reaching out for her. Moments later, this man who was an exact copy of Kyo was standing right in front of Tohru, his hand resting on her arm. Slowly, ever so slowly, he ran his hand up her arm until it was cupping her cheek, using his thumb to wipe of the lone tear that escaped from under her half-closed eyelids.

"I can't explain what happened… I was given a second chance, Tohru. I was watching you, watching our daughter grow up without a father, and I wanted to reach you so badly. Tohru, I was in heaven…It was beautiful, and I was content, but I was never happy. I was so angry that my life with you had been taken away from me…I don't know what happened exactly, but I felt someone…Not someone, God…Tell me that I was being given a second chance at life, the life that was ripped away.

I know that I can never have those years that I missed back, and that it is going to be difficult for everybody to adjust to, but.. Tohru, I missed you so much. Now that I'm here, can we pick up again where we left off? Can you, and Kyoko, do that?"

Tohru didn't realize that she was openly crying now, or that her daughter had somehow wormed her way between the two adults. All she could see was the man standing before her. All she could feel was his hand on her cheek, the love for her radiating off of his body.

"Do you even have to ask, Kyo?"

Tohru reached down and picked up Kyoko, shifting her weight so that Kyo could clearly see his image in his daughter's face.

"Kyoko, meet Daddy."

The seven year old looked at her Mother as if she was crazy. She then looked at the man who looked so much like her.

"Mommy, I've known Daddy for a really long time now…He talks to me when I'm sleeping every night," Turning to her father, Kyoko said,

"You didn't come for a long time, though, and I was scared. I know why now, though. It's because you were on your way here, wasn't it?"

"Yes, honey. That's why."

"Well, okay then. Mommy, can we eat now? I'm hungry now, and I want to sit next to Daddy."

Tohru looked down and her little girl, that over to the man that she had been missing so much for the past six years. She didn't care how it happened or what it changed. She had her husband back and God was going to let her keep him this time. All that mattered was that he was home again, no matter where he had been previously.

"Yes, sweetie. We can eat now."