A/N: This is the edited version of 'This Time'. I've just added a few paragraphs to clear things up and make the story seem more complete. It's pretty obvious who's POV (point of view) this is. Enjoy!

And thanks to Silverquill-87 for all your help. I appreciated it.


And he could only watch as the girl he loved walked away with his best friend. He knew it was a lie, that what they thought was love was nothing of the sort. He could see it crumbling, behind the laughs, he could see that it was falling apart and falling apart fast.

But as was his reputation, he simply stood by and allowed it all to take its course. He would have to pick up the pieces but this time things were going to be different. This time he wasn't giving her back, she was going to stay with him.

Weeks flew by, and his sharp eyes picked up on the subtle hints. Things that no one else would notice. They would sit further apart, talk less, avoid each other if possible and every so often, her eyes would flicker towards him. Their arguments had more strength to them, they lasted longer and more often then not, she would end up telling him everything that went wrong, no matter how hard she tried to hide it.

No amount of gifts, romantic dinners and pleading could change her mind. She was someone who had no care in the world for money, having grown up barely making it by herself. She was standing firm, she wasn't going to let him sway her. It had happened to many times, and she was tired of it. Tired of fighting, and it soon became obvious to even the most ignorant of people that she had given up. That all her work was done and now it was his turn.

And just like he thought, everything fell apart, shattering into many pieces, like glass hit by a ball. He had to grudgingly admit that they had lasted longer than he thought-even with the subtle hints- long enough for him to have the slightest doubt, but the first crack had appeared and he knew that from that first one, many more would come.

And as he glued everything back together, he kept her away from his friend, allowing the tiny gap to grow a bit bigger. He had had two chances with her, and both had been blown, in this game, there was no third, her heart wouldn't, couldn't, take it.

And as everything was delicately being crafted, the storm raged on between him and his friend. Threats and fights, lies and accusations were exchanged, but it was her tears that ended it all. And he simply watched as his friend flew off across the ocean, silently standing by hugging her in consolation, while somewhere deep down in his heart, he unknowingly mourned that it couldn't have worked out.

As the final piece was put into place, what had once been broken shone brightly. This time, it was he who she was with and as an artisan, he couldn't have been happier.