A/N: Shoujo-ai. Angst. Death. Sad stuff. *cry* I forget if the battle with the Nerilians was the Mega Competition or whatever. If it wasn't, sorry.. I'm writing this at 4:30 AM. _;

~~~~~~~~~

The Mega Competition has been over for a long while now.. All this time and I still can't believe we won. Without you even the best of us would have failed. Your light allowed us to go on. For all of Lahrri's strength, Jessie's determination, Tanya's energy, even Kris's "spirits," we wouldn't have pulled it all together without you.

You and I never did fulfill our promise to compete for Cosmo Beauty.. You didn't need to return to competition, though, so it's okay. You made me proud, ahou. You finally realized the most important thing.. Before, you were always running for your mother, or for me, or for Kris. But in that final race, you ran for yourslf. And you saw the light. YOUR light.

Afterwards, when you ran off with me and Kris.. You smiled. You laughed. It's supposed to be fun like that. And after Kris went off for the night to do her kooky priestess stuff, we ran back to your place. You beat me, of course.

You made us tea and we sat in your room. We hadn't talked like that since training school. That seems like so long ago. When you used to come into my room at night and curl up on my futon, and you still had that stupid box thing you hid in instead of facing your problems. I guess it's a good thing that stuff changes.. But there are some things that I wish had never changed.

We sat there for a while, I don't remember the exact conversation or anything. Must have been pretty unimportant stuff. At least compared to the one part I do remember. The last thing I said to you.. 4 blurted words during a period of silence.. Words I've regretted since they've left my lips, but at the same time would never take back.

"Akari.. I love you!"

You smiled sweetly.. That smile was so beautiful. You were glowing then. Your newfound light glittered all around you even when you weren't on the track, at least in my eyes. The shimmering beauty of that smile gave me hope.

"I love you too, Itchan!"

I remember this part perfectly.. I looked up, about to say something until you continued.

"You'll always be my best friend!"

And you hugged me tight, then, your arms locked around my shoulders with all your strength. You had no idea how much those words shattered my soul. There's no way someone as innocent as you were then could have understood the pure, agonizing pain in my heart at that moment.

When you let go of me, I got up and walked out of your room, out of your house, and out of your life. It just hurt too much.. I stumbled through the woods that night, sobbing until I finally collapsed on the ground.

My life became a blur after that. I returned to athletic competition, but I had no spirit left for running. I still won races, and I was awarded titles left and right.. But I was almost like Lahrii or Mylandah for years. I was never angry.. But I was always cold, always distant. And every night I'd stare up at the stars and wonder where you were. The tears I shed those nights were the embodiment of the only emotion I was capable of.

Just today, I saw the news report.

"Early this morning, a fire swept through the house of former Cosmo Beauty Kanzaki Akari. Sadly, Kanzaki-san did not survive the incident. The world shall miss.."

The words after that didn't matter to me. All that mattered was that you were gone. It didn't hurt, strangely.. I went to my bathroom and found a bottle of pain medication I'd been taking for a back injury and downed a fistful of the pills in one gulp.

I can feel the effects beginning already.. Things are starting to grey out around the edges, and my body won't move like it's supposed to. But I know that with my last breath, you'll come for me. Please, Akari.. I need your light to guide me home.

~Owari~