AN: Okay Flamer here is your afterward, short, but sweet, although I like the way it came out. Although it it short, it has something I cannot describe. I hope I did not fail your standards. Ganbatte Arimasu.

Aki no Genou: Afterward, of sorts

The gentle sound of a coffee cup being placed upon the hard worn table, interrupted the silence. The thick layers of steam rose from its deep dark depths, mingling in the warm air that surrounded it. Tomoyo smiled, as she wrapped her hand around the cup, letting the sensation enlighten her. She looked down into its depths, her mind swirling as the coffee was right now. So many things had changed, or perhaps she was wrong, perhaps she had changed, and the world had only continued on, the same as it always had. She thought back to the day she had visited Eriol's house, that white washed day, now perfectly crystallized in her memory. It has all been to wonderful, like a fairy tale ending, but...she thought, there is never an end, not even in death. Her eyes glanced out onto the snow landscape that greeted her, the buildings had almost a gingerbread like appeal to them, their cozy glow resonating off them like a star. The multi-colored lights of Christmas reflected off of the snow, and onto the wet pavement which glistened in the setting sunlight. For a few moments that world caught its self in the last breathe of day, and then a long deep sigh came as the golden light disappeared, and a lavender light entered the stage.
Once again she thought back to how much she had changed in this month. It was as if all her life had been one big fuzzy blur, but now things had come into focus and she had seen things she had never known were there. The thought of Sakura no longer tortured her, instead she continually yelled at herself for ever being so callous to the poor girl. However, it was not Sakura that she thought of, no, it was Eriol. A new life had taken over him, as if he too was a child, looking over at the world, curious and fumbling, and hoping to please. The two were children, both of them trying to figure this world as best they could embracing each other in support. It was a nice image, she concluded, the two of them young children again, holding on to each other.
A quiet sound came from behind her, and before she could turn her head, she felt Eriol's warm lips on her cheek. "Good morning." he murmured quietly as he ran his finger through her hair.
"Un..." she grinned, playing along with the banter. Indeed, how affectionate they had grown to each other.
She looked up at him, studying his face. Had it changed at all? Yes, there was a definite change. Not anything physical, but something in his manner completely. The world did not haunt him anymore, and instead he was anxiously waiting to see what came next. There was a different glimmer in his eyes too, something more touching and sensitive, something that he would only show to Tomoyo. The thought sent a shiver up her spine, Only to me...

Eriol studied her fixedly, and could only find the look of contentment and happiness. There were no longer the dark thoughts which had forever plagued her mind, there were no longer any tears, and no longer isolation. The two seemed to be each others food, and water, clothes and shelter. It shocked him, as he stood their looking down at her, how much he wanted to be with her. How much he desperately wanted to live out each day of his life with her. He wanted to have a child with her, he wanted to know everything about her, he wanted to grow old with her. The thought frightened him, and yet at the same time made him smile. He was happy, yes, there was no other word for this, he was happy.
He tried to remember when he had ever been happy before in his life. Yes, of course their was delusions of happiness, but nothing so great and powerful that he wanted to shout it out to the world. He felt that something was growing between them, an unbreakable love and trust that the two were beginning to weave together.
"Do you want to go out tonight?" he questioned as he poured himself a cup of coffee, inhaling the almost overpowering scent.
"Sure...afterall, it is Christmas eve." Tomoyo smiled as she looked at him, his body; the way it moved under the robe. It was amazing how gorgeous Eriol truly was. It was not his body, although this was indeed an added bonus, bit it was his intelligence and wit, sarcasm and cunning that drew him towards her. She did not think someone like him truly exhisted. She kept on having to remind herself that: Yes, Eriol is real. And he is yours.
Eriol walked across the room, and to the table she was sitting at. She looked at him, half smiling. And then, she noticed something she had never noticed before, that Eriol was blushing. Eriol, blush? It did not seem like something he could EVER do! And yet, here he was, blushing and looking a bit nervous. Her eyes followed his hand as it reached into his pocket. Something small and box like emerged, and she looked at Eriol's face again. It was a mixture of hope and happiness.
He opened the box, and a small simple band met her eyes. Before she could even speak, Eriol's rich low voice spoke for her, "I know it is too soon, but I want to give this to you in the hope that one day we can marry. However, until those vows are said, I want you to think of this as me letting you know that I am yours."
Tomoyo smiled warmly, as she felt for Eriol's hand across the table. He looked relieved and content as his hand wrapped around hers. It began to grow darker, and the room along with it. The two looked at each other, content just to be holding hands. And slowly the day grew into night, and the stars up above shone down through the apartment window, casting a faint glow on the two.




AN: Well?? Dou desu ka?? Hope it did not disappoint anyone. ^_^; e-mail me at: furinkoto_neko@Yahoo.com, and please be sure to review!!!
PS: Gomen NASAI for ANY MIS SPELLED WORDS! I hate spelling. *grumble*