Title: The Lone Samurai
Character(s)/Pairing(s): Tezuka/Fuji, slight Oshitari/Atobe, with little appearances of other characters.
Rating: PG-13

Word Count: around 4800

Warning(s): Lots of angst. Character's death(s). But in the original tale, it has kind of a happy ending, so worry not. Summary: Actually based on The Little Match Girl. "To protect" is not an easy thing to do. Tezuka had learned about it the hard way.
Disclaimer: Any recognizable characters and settings aren't mine. Any flaws and inaccuracies in historical events, cultures and such, however, are all mine. If you would, disregard those errors, thank you.
A/N: Originally written for perfect-tales in LJ, for chibikaoruchan. This is the last part, people. And I SWEAR I'm not gonna write anything like this anymore (or at least, for the time being). It's killing me and my plot bunnies. No, really.

Anyway, this is gonna be a bit long, but if I cut it, the whole atmosphere would be gone, which is bad. So bear with me the last time ne :D

Thanks to Applentoast for poking my muse, Tacuma for being my first reader, and Thallein, my dearest beta.

PS: Don't forget to turn on your music player and play all the angsty/melancholic songs you have there ;)

Just one note for this chappie (remove the space for the link, okay?)

1. Haori: http: / / web. mit. edu/ jpnet/ kimono/ man-haori. html


- PART 2 -


"I'm afraid your brain is damaged. Your head got hit pretty hard from behind, and when you collapsed forward, the impact of your head with the floor was also hard… "

Still wearing his indigo kimono and a black hakama, Tezuka walked down the riverbank, the orange sky reflected on the river below. The sun was about to set, and the huge red object peeked shyly from behind the yellowish clouds.

"Is there any way to cure this, sensei?" Oshitari asked, his flat tone betraying the worry in his eyes.

Sitting on the grass, Tezuka watched as the sky grew redder, and the water surface created beautiful glowing shades of red.

For him, it looked like a river of blood, but Tezuka no longer knew if it really looked like that, or if his visions created the illusion.

The doctor was silent; his eyes met the floorboard as he whispered, "I'm sorry…"

"Even if we can provide a lot of money for it?" Atobe added; his face looked desperate.

"It's not the matter of money, Atobe-kun," the doctor said forlornly. "I'm really sorry, Tezuka-kun…"

The things Tezuka remembered before coming to this riverside was the Doctor's uneasy expression, Atobe's grim face, and Oshitari's anxious look.

Tezuka didn't recall letting any expression show on his face, though.

He didn't even know what he was feeling inside. One might say he was in a state of numbness, where he couldn't feel anything because the shock was so overwhelming. But somehow, he didn't feel that shocked either.

The doctor said his visions shouldn't hinder him much in his daily life, but Tezuka didn't know about that.

There came again the pounding in his head. Tezuka lifted his right hand to cradle his temple and squeezed his eyes shut. Inevitably, a question crossed his mind. Would he die soon? Even if he knew next to nothing about the medical world, a damaged brain was not a trivial thing. That much, he was sure.

A single maple leaf fell onto his lap. It was autumn already, so this one might not be an illusion. Tezuka didn't remember, though, if there were any maple trees around here.

The sun kept descending slowly, and the sky grew even darker. Another maple leaf fell onto his head, and he lifted his left hand to brush the leaf away… and he caught a glimpse of someone standing not far to his left.

The figure wore a white yukata, and strands of sandy brown were blown by the wind in such a way that Tezuka couldn't see the person's eyes.

But Tezuka saw the smile.

For a moment, Tezuka kept staring at the lithe figure which he was sure was another illusion. Turning his gaze back to the setting sun, Tezuka sighed and smiled bitterly.

He wondered if this vision was caused by his desire to have Fuji by his side today, on his nineteenth birthday.


Three groups of ronins were creating riots all over the place. The Shinsengumi suspected that this time, it was not just some ordinary groups of ronins, though. They were probably sent by some shishi who aimed for rebellion or something like that. This was the third within in a month, and this time, one of the groups just had caused a mess within Tezuka's patrolling area.

He was about to slash his katana over what looked like a ronin, when he heard Echizen called, "Tezuka-san, where are you aiming for?"

Tezuka blinked and when his katana cut nothing but the wind did he realize what he had seen was not real. Cursing inwardly, Tezuka turned his body around just in time to defend himself from a slashing katana with his left arm.

Wincing from the pain, Tezuka swung his left arm and elbowed his attacker before slashing his Katana at his enemy's hand, making the other's rusty Katana fly through air and land uselessly on the ground.

Echizen rushed to his side and asked, "Are you alright?"

"Ah," Tezuka replied curtly. "Echizen, how many ronins left?"

"Eh? Three…" Echizen answered hesitantly as he swung his katana to defend himself.

Tezuka frowned. Then why did he see five of them? He felt a headache coming, and his head started throbbing mildly.

The pounding in his head and the pain in his left arm had managed to break Tezuka's concentration. He shut his eyes tightly, trying to feel the killing aura around him because his eyes didn't seem to be dependable at the moment. Faintly, he could feel the presence on his left side, with an obvious murderous intent. He prepared to swing his katana, but the pain in his left arm hinder his timing in reacting, and so before he knew it, a sharp object cut into his left shoulder, deep.

"Tezuka-san!" Echizen called and hurriedly rush to his side, trying to defend his senior.

The ronin laughed at him, saying something about how pathetic he looked then with his dominant arm injured and he couldn't even hold a katana properly, and that he couldn't even protect himself.

The words brought back a memory that he thought he had forgotten; the memory of the day where his own family was slaughtered right before his eyes. The attacker had said a very similar thing to his father then, who had tried hard to defend his wife and his son.

Yet his father had failed to do so.

Switching his katana to his right hand, Tezuka stood tall as if the wound on his left shoulder was nothing. "Out of my way, Echizen," he said; anger flashing in his hazel orbs.

He refused to be weak. He refused to be defended by others. His pride didn't allow him to blame his weird visions for his failure in protecting even himself. Clutching the hilt of his Katana with his right hand, Tezuka charged forward. He glided towards the remaining ronins and swiftly, he swung his katana upwards, taking down one enemy in the process. Then, he spun on his heels and kneeled on one knee as he spread his right arm to the side, slashing another ronin down. Then, he stood up again and thrust his sword at the remaining opponent. He did all that in one swift movement that his enemies had no chance of dodging. He took all of them down.

Echizen gaped at the sudden change in his senior. The move just now seemed different then the style Tezuka had displayed all this time. And his eyes… for a moment, he thought he was scared of the piercing gaze Tezuka had in his eyes.

"Let's go back," Tezuka said calmly as he sheathed his katana, his eyes staring coldly at the lifeless figures he had taken down.

"Are you alright?" Echizen asked, and Tezuka just nodded in response, ignoring the throbbing in his head. "I didn't know you were also a nitoryuu."

Tezuka merely glance at his junior. A memory suddenly hit his mind.

"Don't you want to learn using sword with your right hand, Mitsu? Might be useful in a fight."

"I don't use my right hand often," Tezuka finally replied

"What was that move? It's different than your sword style," Echizen asked curiously.

"I'll teach you one of my moves for your right hand. It's not that hard, but very effective."

"It's called the 'swallow dance'," Tezuka paused to look at his right hand. "It's Fuji's move…"

"Fuji-san's… I see."

"Let's go back," Tezuka commanded and turned around before walking away.

Blood dripped from his left shoulder, staining an orange maple leaf on the groud. Tezuka halted in his steps and took a glance behind his shoulder. There were figures of the ronins they had just beaten up laid sprawled on the maple leaves-covered ground and the sight of blood here and there. Tezuka squeezed his eyes shut.

The scenery looked painfully nostalgic.


"Don't you just love injuring yourself," Oshitari remarked as he finished tending to the wounds on Tezuka's left upper arm and shoulder.

Tezuka tried moving his shoulder a little and he winced in pain.

"The cut is deep, Tezuka. You wouldn't be able to fight with your left arm for a while. Get some rest for the time being, we have lots of soldiers around here, you know."

"Hn," was Tezuka's short reply.

"Were they strong? The last time you had this kind of injury was two years ago," the navy-blue youth asked curiously.

"Not really. I got a vision during the fight," Tezuka admitted. Annoyance was evident in his tone.

Oshitari stared silently at his friend's face for a while. "Has it gotten worse? Your visions…"

"I don't know," Tezuka replied truthfully. A defeated look crossed his face.

Silence hung in the air for a moment. Then, Oshitari patted his friend's shoulder and said, "Just get some rest for now."

Tezuka stood up, nodded, and left the sickbay.


"Ne, Mitsu…" Fuji suddenly called when they were sitting on the floorboard of the walkway while quietly watching the falling maple leaves in the center garden.


"I'm glad you're here with me," he replied, a soft smile adorning his face while he directed those sapphire orbs to meet Tezuka's hazel ones.

Tezuka raised an eyebrow. "What are you talking about?"

"You know, if you're not here, I would've been left alone in this world… and I might've taken my own life," he said wistfully.

Suddenly feeling alarmed, Tezuka lightly gripped Fuji's shoulder. "Shuusuke…" he recited the other's name in a tone mixed of warning and pleading.

Fuji just smiled at him. "That's why I'm glad you're with me."

Slowly withdrawing his hand, Tezuka tried to repress the uneasiness he felt inside. "You're acting strange today," he stated matter-of-factly, glancing at his smiling companion.

"Am I?" Fuji calmly asked back.

A soft afternoon breeze passed by, fondling with the strands of their hair. Fuji coughed softly a few times.

"It's getting cold. Let's get inside," Tezuka was about to stand up, but Fuji pulled the sleeve of his black haori.

"I still want to stay here," he simply asked; his eyes conveying the unsaid 'please?', and Tezuka relented.

He took off his haori and wrapped it around Fuji's shoulder, where his own blue haori was already there.

Fuji threw a small smile. "Thank you."


They spent the next few minutes in silence, enjoying the sight of the red maple leaves being carried by the wind. The rustling sounds of the leaves dancing in the air mixed with the faraway noises of laughter and chattering swordsmen from the dojo created a somehow peaceful atmosphere.

Fuji casually dropped his head on Tezuka's left shoulder, and if Tezuka was surprised, he didn't show it. Fuji coughed again a few times, before drawing a deep breath.

"I'm so tired," he murmured, eyelids sliding close in a sleepy manner.

Tezuka brought his right hand to gently pat Fuji's head. "Just sleep," he whispered softly.

Shifting a little, Fuji dropped his head altogether to Tezuka's lap and Tezuka started caressing the younger boy's head, willing him to go to sleep.

"Ne, Mitsu," Fuji called again, voice barely audible for he was barely awake by now.


"Thank you… for being with me…" was Fuji's last word before his breathing slowed and he succumbed to the land of dreams.

Watching the slumbering Fuji, Tezuka felt a sudden ache in his heart. He didn't know why, but, he had the feeling that Fuji would leave to a faraway place where he couldn't reach. Tezuka gently wrapped a possessive arm around Fuji's shoulder and he winced. He could practically feel Fuji's shoulder blades; Fuji had lost so much weight. Tezuka threw his gaze upwards, to the pinkish sky where the large, orange sun was ready to descend.

Silently, he uttered a prayer to whatever deities existed, wishing for a longer time for them to be together.


There wasn't much Tezuka could do with an injured shoulder. He was practically off-duty for most of the time. He could still go patrolling after two weeks of rest, but he wouldn't be sent out of the H.Q to take care of big matters. At least, Tezuka could still help supervise the training of new recruits, because apparently, his right hand could do better than he thought.

Days passed by in a blur, and before he knew it, winter settled in. Today, he was sitting on the walkway, watching the snowflakes slowly descend to the powder-covered grounds. He sipped on his hot ocha and tried to calm the pounding in his head. He wondered why he saw a group of fat rabbits jumping here and there around the snowy garden.

"You seem to be enjoying yourself, ahn?" a familiar voice greeted him from behind, and Tezuka looked up to find the haughty face of his noble samurai friend, dressed in an expensive-looking black hakama and a purple haori.

"Atobe," he greeted.

Atobe made himself comfortable beside Tezuka, and asked a passing new recruit to bring him tea as well. "What's this? You got thinner already? And as pale as a ghost," Atobe stated in a mocking tone, but the worry in his eyes betrayed it.

"Do you need something?" Tezuka asked briskly.

"You should be proud," Atobe started, "that I am here to visit you," he grumbled at Tezuka's lack of courtesy.

"Thank you then," the dark haired youth answered flatly.


The new recruit who Tezuka recalled named Horio, brought Atobe his hot tea. Not bothering to express any gratitude, Atobe hushed the boy away, and started sipping on his beverage.

"Do you see anything over there?" Tezuka suddenly asked, pointing to the direction where he saw a group of white rabbits, still cheerfully jumping around.

Atobe raised an eyebrow. "If you count a snow-covered ground and dried trees as 'something', then yes."

Tezuka sighed. 'So it's another vision, after all,' he said to himself.

Realizations dawned in Atobe's eyes as he turned his head to see his friend. "What do you see?" he asked, knowing that the stoic youth might be having a vision at the moment.

"Rabbits," Tezuka replied matter-of-factly.

"Oh. At least you're not seeing a flying pig or something," Atobe said, trying to humor his friend.

"A flying pig might be better. At least, I would know it's only an illusion," Tezuka stated flatly, though Atobe caught the bitter tone in his friend's voice.

An awkward silence followed afterwards; Tezuka drowning in his own reverie, while Atobe remained silent.

It was then that Tezuka saw a figure walking across the garden. He wore an indigo haori, and a smile plastered on his face. Tezuka's eyes widened for a moment, recognizing the figure as Fuji. But then he sighed and silently cursed his visions.

The Fuji he saw waved his hand to his direction, and to his surprise, Atobe nodded to him in greeting.

"You can see him?" Tezuka asked abruptly, face filled with disbelief.

Confused at his friend's questions, Atobe replied, "Of course. It was Okita-san waving to us…" Atobe trailed off watching as his friend's eyes widened in horror. "Who did you see?"

Tezuka turned his head away and brought a hand to massage the bridge of his nose. The pounding in his head seemed to have gotten harder.

"I saw Shu… Fuji…" he admitted.

Atobe was silent for a moment, and finally he asked, "Your visions… it's not getting better?"

Tezuka took a sip on his tea to calm himself. Then, he replied, "If I start seeing someone as someone else, it's probably getting worse…"

Atobe suddenly stood up and reached out a hand. "Go get some rest. You look like a living corpse."

Considering his friend's command, Tezuka took Atobe's hand and stood up.

"I'll call Oshitari," Atobe informed him before turning on his heels.

"That's not necessary. I'll just get some sleep," Tezuka politely refused.

Atobe turned his head to look at his friend, and said, "I believe he has nothing better to do at the moment and since he's now officially a doctor, it's better for him to check on you rather than writing those awful haiku," his statement was final, and Tezuka relented.

Waiting until his friend's back disappeared around a corner, Tezuka then went inside his room and decided that sleeping might be wise, considering his worsening headache.

He silently wondered if he had to endure these headaches and visions any longer.


It was snowing that night. Fuji was running a really high fever, and he couldn't stop coughing. Every time he coughed, blood sputtered out of those lips. Tezuka felt his own blood drain from his face.

Oshitari rushed back to the sickbay with the doctor following behind him. And even while the doctor was tending to Fuji, Tezuka refused to leave the side of the futon Fuji sat in, all the while holding that pale, thin hand in his.

"It's okay, sensei…" Fuji said weakly to the doctor. "I know my time is near…"

And he coughed up more blood.

"No, Shuusuke! You still have a long time to live!"

A few more coughs and Tezuka tightened his grip on Fuji's hand. "I'm sorry, Mitsu… my family is calling to me… I have to go meet them," he smiled weakly.

"No, they are not!" Tezuka denied, although seeing how pale Fuji was, and how bad his condition was, he knew Fuji wouldn't last long.

Trying to control his coughing, Fuji gripped Tezuka's hand tighter, before saying, "I'm sorry… but this time, it's for real… Yuuta is quite impatient, saying I've suffered long enough… so I have to…" another coughing fit and more blood flowed out of his now-red lips.

"That's enough, Shuusuke, don't talk," Tezuka' tone was almost pleading. Then, he helped Fuji lie down on the futon before wiping the blood around his lips and jaw.

"That's right, Fuji-kun," the doctor added, "you shouldn't talk too much…"

"No…" Fuji paused to catch his breath, "please allow me, sensei… this might be… the last time I… get to speak…" he smiled wistfully before another coughing fit wrecked his body.

"Please don't… you're all I have left," Tezuka pleaded, bringing Fuji's left hand to his forehead while he squeezed his eyes shut to stop the flow of the welling tears.

"That's not true," Fuji said weakly. "I'm sure… Oshitari and Atobe would love to… keep you company... ne?" he said with a smile.

Leaning against the sliding door, Atobe could only grip Oshitari's hand in his attempt to prevent his tears from flowing out. Oshitari, on the other hand, didn't bother to hide his grief and he managed to answer Fuji. "Of course," he said, and an assuring smile touched his face, but his eyes remain anguished.

"See? You're not alone, Mitsu… so…" Fuji paused to catch his breath, "Please live… for my sake, too"

Faint sobs could be heard from the other side of the sliding door, as some of their friends were gathered to see Fuji's condition. Atobe couldn't hold his tears back any longer, but he refused to show them as he covered his eyes with his free hand. Oshitari's grip on Atobe's hand tightened while his other hand was busy wiping his own tears away.

And Tezuka… no one could really see the expression on Tezuka's face since he kept his head down. Only Fuji, who was lying down, could see clearly the utter grieve that the stoic youth currently felt.

"Ne, Mitsu…" Fuji called softly, trying to move his hand to wipe the tears away from Tezuka's face.

"Yes?" Tezuka replied, his voice shaking.

Fuji cough softly a few times before finally managing to say, "I might have never… said this before… but…"

And suddenly, his eyes widened, and he promptly sat up and coughed violently. He bent forward, clutching at his chest, and the blood sputtered out of his mouth. Trying to gasp for air, Fuji tightened his grip on his white yukata's collar, but before he could control his breathing, he fell into another coughing fit.

The doctor tried to help Fuji contain his cough, but to no avail. Tezuka was beyond panic. He didn't know what to do but to rub Fuji's back and kept calling his name. Ositari and Atobe had left their place by the doorway and hesitantly stepped closer to the sweat-drenched boy.

Seeing the painful look on Fuji's face, Tezuka's heart wrenched. Why, he thought, that when he had all the strength and the authority he thought he needed to protect those around him, he still couldn't protect Fuji from the dreadful illness called tuberculosis?

Finally, his coughing subsided, and Fuji collapsed, running out of strength. Tezuka gently cradled Fuji's head and gathered the lithe form into his arms. Fuji weakly lifted his head, and with a half-closed eyelids, he stared into Tezuka's eyes, and smiled sadly.

"I… love you…"

Tezuka sat up on his futon and gasped. Did he just… dream about that night? After a while, his breathing gradually slowed and he brought a hand to his face.

A single tear fell from his left eye and another followed from his right.

For some reason, Tezuka didn't feel like wiping his tears, so he let them flow freely, marking a trail down his cheeks and finally to fall against his blanket.

When he raised his hand, he saw a light moving from outside of the fusuma leading to the garden. He thought it was just one of his visions, but somehow, there was a strong urge to go out there and follow the light.

Soundlessly, he slipped out of his blanket, and carefully made his way out of the room without waking up any of his roommates. Tezuka didn't even bother to take his haori, and went into the embrace of the cold winter night, only with his sleeping white yukata.

Once outside, Tezuka noticed that it was snowing. He looked up to the sky and watched as the white snowflakes descended from the dark night sky. The sight had somehow given him this serene feeling, and he closed his eyes as he enjoyed the feeling of the snowflakes melting on his skin.

When he opened his eyes, he noticed the yellow light moving to his right. The idea that it might be a firefly occurred in his mind, but then again, it was too big for a firefly. Maybe, his visions had created a giant firefly. He didn't know why, but his feet moved automatically to follow the light.

Tezuka walked across the snow-covered grounds, following the light that seemed to be purposefully leading him somewhere. He didn't even wear any footwear, but oddly enough, he didn't feel the cold. He was aware of the night breeze and snowflakes that made contact with his exposed skins, seeping through his thin yukata, but he didn't care.

Before he knew it, he was inside the cemetery area. Suddenly, Tezuka knew where that light was leading him to.

He walked down the familiar path, until he finally reached the tombstone with Fuji's name engraved on it. The light disappeared and sitting atop his own tombstone, dressed in a white yukata was the figure of a smiling Fuji Shuusuke.

Tezuka blinked once, and then he stepped closer and looked up to the still smiling figure of his dearest one.

"Are you also an illusion?" he finally managed to utter the question.

The figure crossed one leg and propped his chin on one hand, and replied, 'it depends on how you want to see me.'

That was indeed Fuji's voice, Tezuka thought. But somehow, the voice sounded distant, even though he could clearly hear it.

"… Shuusuke…?" he tried again.

Fuji's eyes fluttered open, and his smile grew warmer. 'Have you been missing me, Mitsu?'

Tezuka smiled back at the Fuji in front of him—imaginary or not—and he replied, "Always," as he spread his arms open, signaling the other boy to jump down from the tombstone.

Fuji's smile grew wider, and he gladly jumped down from where he was seated into Tezuka's waiting arms.

'I've been missing you too,' Fuji said as he landed on the ground and wrapped his arms around Tezuka.

Tezuka no longer cared if the Fuji in his arms was merely an illusion. He could really feel him; his slender body, his soft hair, his warmth… he wanted to believe that the one he held now was really his Shuusuke.

'I am real, Mitsu,' Fuji smiled at him as if he could read the other's mind.

Tezuka tightened his embrace, never wanting to let go. But he finally came to his senses. If this was the real Fuji, then…

"Why are you here?" he asked as he loosened his embrace so that he could look at the other's face.

Fuji smiled as he showed the blue of his eyes that Tezuka had missed for so long. 'You're hopeless without me, Mitsu,' he started with a teasing tone. Then, his eyes got somewhat wistful as he recited his next words, 'so I've come to pick you up.'

Tezuka remained silent for a moment before uttering a flat "Is that so?"

Fuji just smiled sadly at him.

"What took you so long?" Tezuka finally said, letting a small smile form on his lips.

'Your time hasn't come until now, I'm sorry to leave you alone.'

"That's okay. You're here now," he replied softly.

Fuji smiled warmly at him. 'I'm glad that Oshitari, Atobe and everyone else have taken good care of you.'

"Yes they have. I'm grateful for that," Tezuka admitted. Although he might not show it, he did appreciate his friends for being with him all these times. "It's just… it's never the same without you…"

'Then, are you ready to leave them now?' Fuji asked; his tone of voice and expression was sad.

"My time has come, hasn't it?" Tezuka replied simply, and Fuji smiled.

Suddenly, Fuji's body was glowing. Tezuka looked down at himself and found that his body was too. He wondered if this was one of his visions, or that his time had finally come now. Then, he looked to the smiling youth in front of him and smiled.

'I love you too,' Tezuka said suddenly, and Fuji glanced questioningly at him.

'What was that?' he asked.

Tezuka raised a hand to caress Fuji's cheek. 'It's my reply to your words that night.'

Fuji blinked once, and then he chuckled. 'You still remember.'

'Of course I do.'

Fuji smiled again, his sapphire orbs shimmering in what Tezuka might interpret as happiness. Looking into those eyes, Tezuka knew that his eyes were reflecting the same glow. They fell into each other's arms as the light radiating from their bodies got brighter.

'It's time. Everyone is waiting,' Fuji said as he lifted his face to meet the other's eyes. Out of instinct, Tezuka then lowered his face, and the last thing he remembered was how soft Fuji's lips were on his…

…and everything went white.


A crowd of people was gathering near a tombstone on the cemetery grounds. It was still early in the morning, but the expressions adorning the faces of those people were those of grieve. There was Sanada, squeezing his eyes shut, and then Echizen who let a single tear trail down his cheek. Momoshiro stood beside him, snaking an arm around the younger boy's shoulder as he too, was trying hard not to sob loudly. The others had looks of pity and sympathy on their faces, some of them couldn't hold their tears any longer.

Atobe rushed to the cemetery area with Oshitari trailed behind him. He made his way through the small crowd, and halted immediately at the sight awaiting him. Oshitari arrived just a split-second later, and made a similar stop as he saw what was in front of them.

Clad in a thin, white yukata, a figure laid on the snowy grounds; pale and unmoving. His face looked unnaturally white and his lips were pale blue.

"Did he die from the cold?" a whisper was heard, and something sounded like a muffled sniffle confirmed it.

"He was out all night with that thin clothing, he didn't even wear socks… and it was snowing last night…" another sympathetic voice joined in.

Atobe fisted his hands hard; his nails were digging into his flesh. "Why…" he whispered.

Oshitari kneeled on the ground, taking the arm of the figure and winced from the cold. The body hadn't stiffened. "He died not too long ago…" Oshitari said, as he shut his eyes to hold his tears back.

"Then if someone had found him earlier, he could've been saved?" Atobe's desperate voice attracted everyone's attention, and their faces had all turned grim, filled with regrets.

If only they were faster…

Taking off his spectacles, Oshitari wiped the tears away and he stood up, circling his arm around Atobe's back and giving him a soft pat.

"Maybe it's better this way," he whispered almost inaudibly.

The look Atobe threw him demanded an explanation, and Oshitari brought a hand to squeeze Atobe's hand softly, before pointing to the figure's still face.

"He looks happy…"

There, almost hidden by the strands of dark brown, a small, almost contented smile froze on the beautifully paled features of Tezuka Kunimitsu.


A/N: THERE! it ends! Whew... first time I wrote something so angsty with blood and death... Thanks soooo much for reading and reviewing so far, I love you all!

Now... anyone wants to kill me for killing them? Please go ahead... in the form of reviews, perhaps? XD

Next time we meet... I'm SOOOO going to write fluff! or maybe crack... I dunno... hahah...

Till then,