Zettai Kareshi/Absolute Boyfriend short little one-shot, post-DRAMA, RiikoxSoshi (love), RiikoxNight (duh), fluff, minor drabble-esque, romance, etc.

You all should have seen this coming. That is all.

Under a Starry Sky

It had been almost a year since Night had died.

Of course, "died" wasn't the proper term, but Riiko couldn't bring herself to use "decommissioned" or "scrapped" as was probably more appropriate. She hadn't spoken to Mr. Namikiri since she left for Paris, so she really had no idea of her robot boyfriend's fate.

But being in Paris…was absolutely amazing. Despite her serious lack of French skills, Riiko was enjoying herself immensely and learning much. Lucien was a very skilled and patient teacher. Riiko would often look over to her mentor to see a strange, almost prideful look on his face such as the way an uncle looks upon his favorite niece.

And well, having her former boss and now friend as her sole classmate didn't make things any worse. In fact, it made things much better seeing as Soshi was fluent in French and often had to translate when Riiko had found her throat closing up in embarrassment.

Luckily, those klutzy moments had passed and now Riiko was much more confident in the kitchen…and more confident in general. She regularly got into playful spats with Soshi that usually resulted in one or more objects being thrown and Lucien reprimanding the young adults (gently). It appeared that getting closer to reaching her dream had made Riiko realize that she could speak up more and let loose.

In the back of her head, she always thought that it was because of Night that she was here, in Paris, with Soshi, having the time of her life. If it wasn't for him, she wouldn't have had the courage to keep working toward her dream. She silently thanked him every night before she fell asleep.

And Soshi…was still a mystery. Riiko had thought that once he had whisked her away to the most romantic city in the world, he would make some sort of move, considering his confession after the Bruno competition. However, he never did anything that could be considered inappropriate or out of the ordinary. He was a kind friend who listened when she needed someone to listen and offered advice when he could.

On the other hand, she could never shake the thought that their good-natured quarrels were actually a cover for flirting. His hand did occasionally brush hers a bit longer than necessary when reaching for a spatula or whisk and she could always feel like a little current ran from his skin to hers.

She had, on more than one occasion, felt that way about Night. She knew she liked Soshi. Was she finally letting herself open up to him…like Night wanted her to?

---------

Lucien often took his two students out to dinner at fabulous restaurants where Riiko felt very uneasy at the constant chatter in a foreign language around her. The food was always delicious, if a bit gaudy. It was on one of these nights that everything seemed to fall into place in a way that would have made Night grin ridiculously.

After dinner, Lucien bade good night to the two young adults and climbed into his cab to head home. Riiko, who was usually quiet during dinner as she was unable to make much conversation in her broken French, had been even more quiet than usual. Soshi was at first confused as to her subdued demeanor, suddenly remembered what the day was.

It was exactly a year since Night "died."

"Hey, Riiko?" he said, poking her arm. "Wanna go walk by the Seine? It's always pretty at night."

Riiko nodded, allowing herself to slip her arm through Soshi's and follow his lead down the boulevard.

The sight of the Paris lights from the edge of the Seine was truly breathtaking, but Riiko's mind was miles away from France. Soshi could sense her discomfort but he was starting to get frustrated. How long was he going to have to wait for her to get over Night? He understood that Night was important to her…that she loved him. But still….

"It's hard to see the stars from here," her voice suddenly cut through his thoughts. "I bet it's hard to see shooting stars, too." He looked over at his companion and saw tears running down her cheeks.

"Riiko…."

"I know he doesn't want me to be sad," she spluttered. "But I can't help it! I miss him so much…." She finally gave in and sobbed, pressing her face against the arm of Soshi's suit jacket.

He wasn't sure what to do. He wanted to take her in his arms and hold her tightly. But something held him back, the same thing that held him back the day Night left. He still wasn't sure what it was, but it was there, keeping its iron hold on him.

Soshi offered the best comfort he could in just letting her cry without judging. He patted her head and murmured soothingly to her until she had completely cried herself out.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled, awkwardly trying to wipe her tears.

Soshi smiled and produced a handkerchief from his inside pocket. She nodded another thanks. He couldn't help but think she was adorable, the old Riiko, even though the newer one was much more of a challenge.

"Don't worry about it." He led her over to a bench along the river bed and waited politely while she blew her nose, a blush staining her face.

They were silent for a few moments, just watching the water and taking comfort in the other's presence. Finally, Soshi cleared his throat and began, "Riiko…there's actually something I've wanted to tell you for a while now…."

"What is it?"

"Night gave me a letter the night I was supposed to leave for Paris alone."

Riiko looked up at him, confused. "But…you didn't leave. What did it say?"

"It told me to take care of you because he wouldn't be able to. He asked me to be there for you when you cried." Riiko's eyes widened and her blush deepened. "But…I wasn't there when you cried over him the first time. I mean, I was there…but I…I couldn't help you…not then…I'm sorry."

Riiko still seemed a bit confused. "I was outside your door. I heard what Mr. Namikiri said to you. I was going to ask one more time for you to come to Paris with me."

She was silent. Soshi feared that she hated him now. He offered one more meager, "I'm sorry."

Without warning, Riiko suddenly threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. "Thank you, Soshi," she whispered. He wasn't entirely sure why she was thanking him but he couldn't resist wrapping his arms around her waist and hugging her back.

She pulled away after a moment, a shy smile on her face. The two looked up at the few stars that were visible on the dimly lit boulevard. Riiko's face brightened as she pointed. "Look! A shooting star!"

Soshi laughed. "Quick, close your eyes and make a wish."

Riiko nodded and let her eyes fall shut. As soon as she did, Soshi leaned over and pecked her lightly on the lips. Her eyes opened before he could pull completely away. "Soshi…."

He smiled. Then he stood and pulled her to her feet. "Come on. It's getting late and we should get back."

Riiko smiled back and didn't let go of his hand even after she was on her feet.

They walked back to their apartments, hand-in-hand, under the starry, Parisian sky.

Somewhere—in robot heaven, perhaps?---Tenjo Night smiled. Or more like grinned like a maniac as he had always been wont to do.

The End

I'm gonna go ahead and blapheme and say I liked the drama better than the manga. But that was probably because it was more emotional as there were living people crying and stuff and the music was just amazing. And I'm not just talking about "Okaeri" by ayaka, but the piano arrangement of that song brings me to tears everytime. A Love To Kill still has the best music of any drama I've seen to date, but this one takes a very close second. I highly recommend this to any j-drama lovers out there or anyone who wants to watch quality televison.