Okay. I'm not used to writing fiction that is not a series, and I'm not used to writing fanfiction at all (this is just my second attempt at it), so bear with me.
Disclaimer:Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is not mine. If it was, then you'd be watching this instead of reading it on FFnet. I'm just playing around with the ending by weaving it with my wishful thinking.
He knew he was supposed to be walking away. He knew he was supposed to leave. It wasn't right for him to be there anymore. He had violated the rule: he had told her his secret about time leaping, about his being someone from the future. Why he did it was a mystery to him, but he supposed that something serious had happened in another timeline; another timeline that she had erased, just so she could tell him that he had told her everything.
Well, he'd never know now because he was leaving.
He was supposed to be leaving.
But he couldn't.
He just stood there, his back to her, her back to him, and he could hear her crying.
It tore him apart.
His feet stopped moving on their own, and now he was torturing himself by staying to listen to her strangled cries and choked intakes of breath. His fingers clenched into fists. This was his doing. He had come to her era so he could see that painting. That was all. But what did he do? He just had to be curious and explore their world. He didn't have to attend school, but he did. He didn't have to make friends, but he did. He didn't have to attach himself to them, but he did.
He didn't have to fall in love with her, but he did.
This was his doing. He shouldn't have come. He shouldn't have come if this was what it did to her. This was his doing, and, he was NOT going to leave her like this.
Whirling around, he strode towards her, one hand in his pocket, the other reaching towards her. Her sobs stopped when his hand came in contact with her shoulder, and then, in one swooping motion, he turned her around and pulled her close---
---to brush her lips with his own.
It was such a quick kiss, it almost couldn't count as one. Nonetheless, the effect was unbelievable. Warmth spread all over his body from the point of contact, robbing him of all other coherent thought, disabling him to do anything else but rest his forehead on hers. He didn't care if she hit him afterwards for kissing her without permission. An angry Makoto was way better than a crying one, he decided, and the feeling of kissing her, even if it was a feather-light one, was enough for him to disregard everything else that followed. The feeling would forever haunt him, he was sure.
That is, until he felt soft fingers rest on his cheek.
He began to open his eyes, but they closed almost immediately as he felt her slightly pull him down. She caught his lips, this time, and really that, he decided, was what would haunt him forever. His hand slipped from her shoulder to her neck, his fingers tangling with her soft brown locks, and his free arm wound around her, holding her petite form flush against him. They moved together perfectly, fitted each other perfectly, that he couldn't imagine ever kissing anybody else.
Good lord, if only he could stay like this forever.
They broke apart reluctantly. He opened his eyes, and, with his heart filled with longing, he looked at her, wanting to memorize each detail. Each delicate tendril of hair brushing her cheekbones, each eyelash hiding her brown eyes. He traced the slope of the bridge of her nose, the curves of her lips; each and every contour of the face that he might never see again...
Her eyes opened slowly, as if from sleep, and he lost himself in those deep brown pools.
"Stay with me," she said, "just for a few more minutes..."
"Makoto..." he sighed, loosening his arms around her.
"Stay," she pleaded, burying her face on his chest. "I don't care if I'll just be prolonging the agony. Just... Stay. Please."
He nodded, and soon enough, they were on the grass that they just left, silently staring up at the orange summer sky. They laid down right next to each other, but didn't dare touch, as if doing so would mark the end of their time together. And besides, they were officially just friends up until she arrived at the park. They couldn't just leap into cuddling just because he was leaving, regardless of the fact that he wanted nothing more than just hold her until it was absolutely time to go.
"Chiaki," came her voice amidst the sounds of the afternoon.
"Maybe you should go back..."
"Go back where?"
"Back to before I found out about time leaping," she said. "If I never found out about it, then wouldn't that mean that you won't have to leave?"
He said nothing at first, considering it. In theory, it might work, but there was no guarantee that his violation would be erased. Whether or not she didn't remember it, the event that she found out about time leaping still happened. He didn't know if the higher-ups would let that pass.
He heard her sigh, and she pushed herself to a sitting position, hiding her face from view.
"You asked me out, you know."
"I what?!" he exclaimed, jumping into a sitting position beside her.
"You asked me out once," she said, a smile gracing her face. "Well... Not just once, actually. I jumped back to that point in time over and over trying to keep you from asking me."
He blinked at her, mouth agape, as she played with the grass beneath her shoes.
"It was so stupid," she continued. "I didn't want things to change. I was so afraid that I might lose you in case it didn't work out between us. It came to a point that I leapt back earlier in the day so that you wouldn't have the chance to ask me, and then I kept avoiding you until... Until you started going out with somebody else." She paused to laugh a bit, raising her knees to her chin. "I was so jealous. I guess things had already changed and I just didn't see it. I was just too preoccupied with unnecessary things."
For a few moments he sat there dumbly, gawking at her as the sky darkened some more.
He had already asked her out, he just didn't remember it.
"I don't want you to leave," she said in a hushed voice. She hugged her knees tighter, and her head bowed lower, making her bangs fall like a curtain around her eyes.
Neither do I, Makoto, he wanted to tell her. There was so many things he wanted to do in this era, some of them he knew he could do within the next couple of weeks... Go to a nighter, convince Kousuke to get a girlfriend, go to a summer festival, see Makoto in a yukata, go on a date with Makoto... If only he had a few more days!
"I don't want you to leave..."
His eyes widened when, as she repeated herself, a glistening tear fell from her eye to her lap.
It was then that he realized why she made her suggestion. It wasn't just so that he wouldn't have to leave that day. Instead, the issue was that he had to go at all. She said, "I don't want you to leave." Not "I don't want you to leave yet."
She didn't want him to leave. Period.
"Makoto," he began. "Either way, I'll have to leave eventually... I'm not---..."
I'm not from this era... I'm not supposed to be here in the first place...
He clamped his mouth shut, glaring angrily at the river. He didn't have to tell her again; she already knew it. There was no use arguing over this now... And it was no use spending more time together now, because they would only be wasting time trying to see a loophole in all this.
She said it herself: they were just prolonging the agony.
That much was obvious when her shoulders began to tremble, and sobs began to shake her. She was crying again. He had indulged himself, kissing her and even staying for a while longer, because he thought that it would make her feel better. Well, apparently not.
Was she going to be like this? Would the memory of him make her so sad?
Dammit, she wasn't like this! True, he only met her in Spring, but he knew her enough to say that she didn't cry easily. She was tough, strong-willed and determined. When she put her mind to something, she did it. And when she was sad about something, she did something about it.
But now... But now there was nothing she could do.
Again, this was his doing. He shouldn't have stayed. He should have left when she told him to. He shouldn't have kissed her. She had already made her peace, she had already said good-bye. And then he ruined it by kissing her.
What an idiot.
"Makoto," he began again, putting an arm around her shoulders. "Cheer up, yeah?"
She nodded mutely, but her sobs didn't stop. She shifted in her seat, leaning her bowed head on his shoulder, and he, in turn, rested his chin on the top of her head. The sky was dark now, and all hues of orange and red had disappeared from the clouds. At this rate, he would never be able to leave. The longer they stayed, the harder it was going to be.
His gaze fell on the blue band on his left wrist. He stared at it for several moments, weighing his options.
And then he closed his eyes, his decision made. He pictured her face in his mind, knowing that he would do it countless times in the days to come, before turning to look at her again. He reached for her chin and he tilted it gently, making her look up at him. He ran his thumb on the trail made by her tears, and then, slowly, as if he was still willing himself to do it up until the last second, he leaned down to kiss her again, for the last time...
The cool air around him was warm once more, and he could hear her could hear her crying. He opened his eyes and turned around to see her standing there with her back to him, her hands wiping away the tears from her cheeks. Behind her, the summer sky was painted with warm hues of red and orange.
Setting his jaw in determination, he strode towards her, one hand in his pocket, the other reaching towards her. Her sobs stopped when his hand came in contact with her shoulder, and then, in one swooping motion, his hand slid to her neck as he turned her around and pulled her close---
---and stopped just before his lips touched her ear. And then, in a quiet voice, he spoke.
"I'll be waiting in the future."
There was silence for a few beats. He didn't dare look at her.
And then, in a melodious, smiling voice, she answered.
"I'll go there. I'll run to it."
And, really, that was what was going to keep him going in the coming years.
From the Author:
Sorry, I just couldn't keep myself from yelling, "Dammit, Chiaki, you MISSED!!!" in their last scene. Thus, the fic. This has been brewing my head for a while, so I finally sat down and wrote it.
Oh, by the way: I can't remember if Makoto said anything when Chiaki turned her around. I put in her saying Chiaki's name, but I'm not sure if she did.
And yey, here's a clarification. I'm not sure if Chiaki having one last time leap at the end of the movie makes a difference. I mean, he's leaving either way, right? So, just for this fic, let's pretend that he went back to his era, and that whether or not having one last time leap isn't important. There are many speculations about Chiaki's fate and what exactly he meant by his now famous last words. But since some things aren't made absolutely clear, I guess that just makes the movie more fanfic-friendly. Haha!
Ciao, friends, thank you for reading!