Disclaimer: I really wish I could take credit for Haru wo Diate Ita, but I can't. Unfortunately I do not own it. Also, I suppose I should include a spoilers alert since I make a reference to something that happens in the manga (I believe it's in volume 4).

Iwaki waved nervously to his lover as the train began lumbering down the tracks. Although the cool beauty of his face was flawless as ever, he was deeply worried about Katou. Just this morning he'd received word that one of his friends from college had cancer and was dying. Katou had immediately made arrangements to go and support his friend during his final hours. Remembering the anguished look on Katou's face made Iwaki's heart ache. He wished once again that he could be with Katou during this difficult time, but he was in the middle of filming some crucial scenes for his latest movie, and he couldn't get away on such short notice. He closed his eyes. I love you. Please be safe. Iwaki said silently to himself sending Katou his love and support.

It was predawn the next day when Katou returned trudging wearily inside the house. The darkness felt impenetrable reminding him of the old saying 'it's always darkest before the dawn.' Except it had been dark the entire day yesterday and even if there isn't a cloud in the sky today, it would still be dark.

"Katou is that you?" Iwaki's concerned voice called out to him from the depths of the shadows.

"Yeah, I'm home," he answered with an uncharacteristically weak voice.

Iwaki fumbled for the light and inhaled sharply when he saw Katou's condition. His hair and clothes were a mess and his eyes that are normally so bright were bloodshot and listless. Wrapping his arms around his lover, Iwaki was shocked when Katou fiercely hugged him in return. "I'll go fix us some tea," he offered gently trying to pull away, but Katou clung to him even tighter.

"I don't want any tea right now." Katou mumbled into Iwaki's shoulder. "I just need to hold you for a while longer."

Iwaki held Katou until he reluctantly pulled away.

"Akira passed away at two this morning," Katou began as his eyes filled with tears. "He was so young…only a year younger than me." With intense desolation he looked into Iwaki's eyes. "How could something like this have happened? Why him, why now?" His tears were falling freely now in two small rivulets that flowed down his grief-stricken face and left large salty puddles on his shirt. "There were so many things I wanted desperately to tell him before the end, but I just couldn't say anything." Katou's body began to tremble in time to each sob that exploded from his tormented soul. "If I'd managed to say what I'd wanted, it would have been like I was accepting the reality of his death, and I just couldn't do it. I kept telling myself; 'This isn't real. He isn't really dying. He's just playing another one of his rotten practical jokes. Any moment now, he's going to jump out of that bed and make fun of my serious face.' But he never did, and now he's gone. I…was never able to tell him good-bye." Katou hung his head in shame, his body still shuddering violently as he wept.

"Katou listen to me." Iwaki responded gently once again enfolding his lover in a tender embrace. "I don't think Akira needed you to say anything. What truly matters is that you were there for him when he needed you the most." He ran his fingers through Katou's silky hair and continued speaking softly in his ear. "If you tried to say good-bye properly to him, you might have broken down like you did just now. Then he would have been troubled when he left this life because he'd upset his friend so badly. Isn't it better for you to have silently given him your support so Akira could go to his next life in peace?"

While Katou pondered Iwaki's words, he slowly began to calm down. Although he still felt guilty, he realized deep down in his heart that what Iwaki had told him was true. He began to sway slightly as the last of the tears fell from his chin. "I think I'd better lie down," he mumbled thickly in fatigue.

"Let's hurry up and get you into bed then." Iwaki said as he maneuvered them both toward the bedroom.

Katou was vaguely aware that Iwaki was undressing him. Normally this would drive him wild and lead to a very long session of passionate love making, but right now he simply felt numb and tired…extremely, overwhelmingly tired. Slumping into the bed, Katou curled up on his side and surrendered to the deep slumber that engulfed him. Iwaki pulled off his robe and curled up around his already sleeping lover.

When Katou awoke, Iwaki was still there his body wrapped around him and holding him closely.

"How long have you been awake?" Katou asked wincing at the pain in his raw throat.

"Not very long," he answered evasively. Iwaki had been awake for over an hour just watching his lover's beautiful sleeping face.

"It's late isn't it?" Katou exclaimed rising off the bed in a panic. "Shouldn't you be on the set by now?"

"Don't worry." Iwaki reassured him. "This director is not as strict as Mochimune had been. Since I completed all of the most important scenes yesterday, He let me have a few days off." Pulling on his robe he asked, "Would you like some tea for your throat?"

"Yes that sounds good, but before you go there's something I need to say to you." Katou approached Iwaki with downcast eyes. "I owe you an apology." As he paused a deep sorrow settled into his exquisite eyes. "When you got upset over my death scene in Inside Report, I didn't show enough consideration for your feelings. I laughed them off like it was a big joke, and for that I am truly sorry. I understand now what you were going through, because I found myself thinking the same thoughts last night." He looked deeply into Iwaki's mesmerizing, dark eyes. "I…don't know what I'd do if something ever happened to you." Tears once again began to trickle down Katou's face.

Iwaki cupped Katou's face with his hands and gently wiped his tears away. "You helped me realize how foolish it is to worry about things in which we have no control. Just know that I love you and I will always be here for you," he declared before capturing Katou's lips in a long, luxurious kiss.

Katou melded into Iwaki feeling more complete than he had in a long time. Someday death would part them, but until that time, Katou vowed to return all of the support Iwaki had given him a hundredfold, and to love him passionately even beyond death unto eternity.