By Duzzie

Word Count: 820

Mémoires De Papillon/Butterfly Memories

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It's near the end of Yukari's birthday celebration that she spots blue hair and sparkling eyes and it takes all of her will power not to cry and run over to him. Her husband is standing next to her, holding her hand and talking with Miwako. Softly nudging him, she gets his attention and nods over to the smiling gaze. He squeezes her hand, and lets go; she's never felt more grateful to him than at that time, and with one quick kiss to her lips, he pushes her forward.

The man leaves through the front door; Yukari follows closely behind him until they are all the way outside, stares at him while he lights a cigarette, and then (as if something inside of her has broken) throws her arms around him and smiles into his chest.

"Yukari, you look fantastic," he pauses, and with somewhat of a dazed smirk comments on her dress. "You still wear them." She looks at him, unashamed and standing tall.

"I've always loved your clothes, you know. It's like I'm wearing little pieces of you. I love it, I've always really loved it George, and I would never give them up."

He takes a long, slow, painful drag and then tosses the cigarette down. He doesn't step on it. "I'd say," the smoke rushes out of his lips. "It's more like… I've made every article of clothing, putting the little pieces of you in me that I could never quite get rid of." He gives her his 'we're-all-fucked-but-let's-live-happily-anyway-smile'.

Smiling back a bit softly, a bit agonizingly, Yukari loves his clothes a bit more.

"It's good to see you again, George. Until now, I thought I might never see you another time."

A rumble plummets out of his throat; she's almost amazed that she's forgotten his laugh. "Same old Yukari, always so dramatic." A bit indignantly, she turns her head away from him and looks out at the moon. "There's no need to be that way. Take it as a compliment Yukari."

"I'm not dramatic, I'm happy to see you. There's a difference," part of her is frowning because she really is "old Yukari" who has never been able to get rid of that childishness; part of her is frowning because if anything, she is not "old Yukari" anymore, and part of her is frowning because the only other alternative is crying which she promised not to do /even though it's been twelve years since she's last seen him and seeing him again reminds her of the love that was and never went away and being this close to him makes her have butterflies and want to empty the wonderful tiramisu pastry all over his jacket/.

There's silence for a very long time where he turns her toward him and they watch each other, taking every detail in.

Slowly, very, very slowly, she cups his cheeks. "How have you been, George?" and for a moment his eyes widen, pupils narrow, and she thinks he might cry. But he doesn't. Instead he reaches up and removes her hands, holding them to his lips. She feels the formation of each word as he talks. It's beautiful.

"I miss you."

Her eyes widen, her pupils narrow, and he thinks she might cry. And she does.

"George, George, I wanted to go, more than anything, I wanted to go with you. But I, I don't regret it, I can't regret not going."

Lightly, he drops her hands and looks thoughtful before leaving. "I don't regret anything either, Yukari. I love my life, I love my clothes, I'm happy," he shrugs and almost as an after thought, he adds, "It wouldn't have been the same had you come with me, anyway. I loved you, Yukari. That part of me always has and if you'd come, if you had given up everything that you had been working toward for me, the things I loved about you would have vanished. I might have been more heart broken had you accepted my offer."

"I know. I knew that too."

He kisses her, once, only once /somewhere in her mind she knows that this is their last kiss and their first kiss and their goodbye and their see-you-later kiss/ She kisses him back.

"I came here tonight to see you, and to say…I hope he makes you as happy as you made me." And like that he leaves, steps off the porch and leaves her there. He doesn't look back and neither does she as she closes the door softly behind her to join the party once more. Her feet are slow and she feels as if her heart is sagging, but she is happy too.

Going back to her husband's side, he asks her if she's all right. Nodding, she says she's fine.

For the first time in twelve years, she takes off her butterfly ring.