On Yuhya's Grave

Set right after the last episode. Takeshi pays his deceased mentor a visit, and he makes a painful, life-changing decision.

On Yuhya Marino's grave, Takeshi laid Gaiki to rest.

Its work was done, and so was his. He had fulfilled his promise to train his mentor's brother, Kouya, and help him become the Crush Gear World Champion. And he had done so most effectively, tiring and frustrating though it was, having chosen a tricky path to attain such a success.

He smiled, satisfied with himself. Yes, in the course of his adventure as a Gear Fighter, he had learned to let go of the things that were plaguing his life and existence, so that he may move on a better man. He had learned to accept Yuhya's untimely death and the fact that the person who had been his greatest friend and mentor was gone, remaining with him only memory. He had even learned to let go of his memory of him, to release himself from its restrictive bonds, and step out from the shadows of his champion.

But there were two things he just couldn't lay to rest, things that had been plaguing him for the last four years.

One was his tears.

The other was his love for Lilika Tobita.

He loved her, yes. But Yuhya Marino did, too – and she loved him. They were almost inseparable, the perfect couple; she was the daughter of their club owner, and he was their captain, their champion fighter. Even before it had actually come to pass it was a relationship most obvious, one that existed simply because it was meant to. Only that it was short-lived.

Takeshi mentally cursed himself. His love for her was wrong. She was rightfully Yuhya's, and death wasn't supposed to change that. Still, he found himself wanting her, needing her, loving her.

His mind had been telling him to let go of that unrequited love, telling him that it would only lead to his ruin. And he had tried. After Yuhya's death he had built a wall between himself and her, letting the last fragments of his adolescence die with his mentor, and with that hasty flight into adulthood he hoped his 'infatuation' for Lilika would disappear just as fast.

But it never worked. His heart had always been in the way.

"Yuhya," he called out softly, opening his eyes and reaching out to run his fingers through the inscription on his friend's grave. His eyes glistened with tears that he was finally able to let go of, allowing them to spill from his chestnut orbs and trickle down his handsome face. "I love her, Yuhya. I really do."

And as pain seized his heart, he vowed, "But I'll be the last person to take her away from you."