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I was not content to leave this hanging... so here it is!

Bittersweet Memories

By Panners

Chapter 7: His and her delusions

All these years, he had been delusional. He had mistaken love for Tsukushi as simple affection, and attachment to Shizuka as love. When he'd realised his mistake, she had grown to love Domyouji, who loved her and her only. He would tell himself that, as long as he could see her smile, as long as he could be by her side, he'd be happy.

Yet, he could not stay content just being like that. He continued to love her even after her love was for someone else. He continued to love her to the day that she realised that she too, had never stopped loving him.

"I could never leave you, Rui," Tsukushi said.

All these years, she had been delusional. She'd thought that even if Rui was pursued her before Domyouji, she would have chosen Domyouji in the end. She thought that they would be content staying as friends. Yet even when she was with Domyouji, she had needed him. Tsukushi, now entangled in his embrace, could feel him smile.

"I would never let you go," replied Rui. "Because..."

Tsukushi couldn't help but smile too. It was as if, at last, her eyes and her mind had finally been opened to reality.

"... I love you."

Tsukushi murmured into his ear.

"I love you too."

Rui's day of discharge came, and upon her insistence, Tsukushi had come to help him pack up his bags to go home in place of the servants of his household. It was now, when he was at his most vulnerable state, that Tsukushi realised how much Rui had needed her, and how much she wanted to be there for him just as he had been there for her in her most vulnerable times. Neither his mother nor his father had come to help, and as far as she was aware, they probably did not even realise that their son had been involved in an accident.

They arrived back at his house, and Tsukushi's help with his discharge turned into helping him transition back to home life. As she dropped his stack of books back into his room, she couldn't help but notice how stiflingly still his house was, despite the fact that its beauty lay with its tranquility.

He was very much alone in this house.

But now, he had her.

He would not be alone anymore.

"Would you like me to stay over tonight to help you?" asked Tsukushi.

"I would love for you to stay forever," he replied.

In a spare guest room, sitting quietly by herself, Tsukushi decided that it was time for her to explain herself to Domyouji. It was only fair to him, and to them, that she explained herself and her intentions to him clearly.

Dear Domyouji,

I am sorry.

I think that I am going to break my promise to you.

-- Tsukushi.

The end.

I believe the time is nigh in ending the fic, as I wanted some closure on this. I had intended for it to be longer, but I don't have the time, nor the will, to write anymore Hana Yori Dango, especially a multi-chaptered fic which requires planning, patience and persistence. Secondly, I don't see this fic being able to progress any further considering how TxT canon is. A believable and realistic RxT is much harder to write than I had initially thought, and melancholy was never really my cup of tea to begin with.

I don't feel that this fic will end with a 'happily ever after', and I do not intend to force one -- after all, Tsukushi and Domyouji have a history together, and have invested much emotion into their relationship. Rui and Domyouji are childhood friends. The beginning of a relationship between Rui and Tsukushi will mean an end to the friendship between Rui and Domyouji, and a romance between Tsukushi and Domyouji. So while there is some joy, there is more sadness.

I hope you all enjoyed this! I hope to be able to write more fanfics, but as of now, it looks like a no. Guess I'll be hibernating for a while now. Maybe I'll put in a one-shot from time to time -- probably something that'll make me laugh, and hopefully, make you laugh too. I still enjoy crack more.