This takes place in my "Memories of You" storyverse. It is AU.

Written for iyfic contest - Week 185 "Long Lost Loves". It won!

It had been centuries since he had seen her. Time passed as if blowing on the wind. He knew the moment that had been promised by Midoriko was coming and for that, he could wait.

He first saw her again, tiny and new, only hours old. Her dark hair was flattened against her perfect head and long lashes lay prettily on her rosy cheeks. He wanted to pick her up and let her know how important she was to him, but it was too soon. She was so young with so much ahead of her. But nonetheless, he could wait.

He saw her again on the first day of school, clutching her mother's hand. Her pigtails bounced as she walked up the stairs, her face flush with excitement as she waved goodbye to her mother. The world was opening up to her but she still had so much to learn. Nevertheless, he would wait.

Seeing her in pain made him want to embrace her and never let her go. He wanted to comfort her and tell her things would be fine. Instead, he could only watch as she said goodbye to her father, tears pouring down her face. Fighting the urge to go to her, he waited instead.

He dreaded her fifteenth birthday, afraid of what might happen. His heart stopped as she went into the well house and it refused to resume until she came out, clutching Buyo and teasing Souta. He was so relieved that she would not have to relive the agony of the past. For that peace of mind, he could wait.

He was proud as he watched her address her high school graduating class. She was valedictorian, the best in her class. As she stood on the podium, her voice ringing loud and true, he could feel his heart swell with love. He was happy she had to chance to live a normal life, a chance to be just a girl. As she spoke of hope for the future, for a moment, their eyes met. He could see confusion mar her brow as she struggled to know who he was, but in a flash it was gone as she continued her speech. For their future, he could wait.

He could barely control himself as she finally stood before him. After learning of her past and the role it had played in her future, instead of turning from him, she embraced him. In spite of the fact her memories hadn't returned at first, her heart always remembered him. Holding her arms open, he walked into her embrace and reveled in the love and affection that poured from her soul. To him, it was worth the wait.