If Only For A Day
an ExT fanfic by Ekai Ungson

DISCLAIMER: See previous chapters for full disclaimer. ^-^


(Final Chapter)
Chapter IX: Mitsumeteru

Surface tranquility will always just be surface tranquility. Emphasis on the word surface. Tomoyo could feel the storm brewing from under her feet just waiting to explode.

Waiting to be unleashed.

It had all began that one night.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The phone rang in the middle of the night. Tomoyo jumped at the shrill, unexpected noise.

In reflex, she turned.

He wasn't there.

Her blood froze. Slowly. Painfully.

*"I never told them the number here. I only told one other person..."*

It could be just a wrong number. Or a prank call. She shook her head violently. No, she wasn't that mental yet that she was hoping on something that obviously wouldn't be true.

She closed her eyes, trying to block out his hushed voice. But the house was too silent. Nothing made any noise. If anything, his voice sounded louder, tormenting her.

"Yes. I'm here. Composing. I'll be back in a week. I promise. Yes--"


"Don't worry. I will. I will.... I love you, too."


"... I love you, too."

She bit down on her lower lip. Hard. Tears pushed their way out of her eyes in pain and frustration.

And then she realized that what she'd been doing was a futile attempt to delay the inevitable. Kaho owned him. Kaho owned his heart and her soul, and though she had been able to reach them, she wouldn't and would never be able to attain them. It was useless.

He still loved HER, no matter what he said.

The fantasy was over.

It was time to wake up to reality.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He was a coward.

Eriol put the phone back in its cradle, the guilt racking at him.

It was one in the morning.

He opened the door to the bedroom and a sliver of light entered, breaking the darkness.

Her back was turned to him when he moved onto the bed. He wrapped his arms around her, wishing to hide from something he could not see and did not want to face.

He felt her stir. "What...?"

"I'm cold," he whispered into her hair. "Can you hold me?"

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

She drew a steadying breath and wiped her tears away discreetly, hoping he wouldn't see in the blackness that enveloped them. Eriol was a man of many talents, she mused cynically. But what he didn't have was night vision.

Then she turned around and held him as close to her as possible. Held him to her heart.

For what would be the last time.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He found her in the morning packing her clothes in the other room.

"Where are you going?" Eriol asked.

Tomoyo jumped, then turned to him. "I'm leaving."

"But the week's not over."

"Hiiragizawa--" she began. He winced. She shook her head and tried again. "Hiiragizawa, we're done anyway. Fifteen songs. Wasn't that what we agreed on? And..." she searched for other reasons. "... um.... I need to get back to Tomoeda. To work. It's almost time to expose the new line, and I have to be there."

His blue eyes narrowed, and she averted her gaze, trying to avoid his wrath and suspicion.

She'd taken a good, long look inside herself over the past few days, and discovered a fair amount of new things about herself and what she truly wanted.

What she was truly capable of.

She was capable of true love in the face of loss.

She was capable of strength to face her fears and her own mistakes.

She was capable of courage to do what was RIGHT, for him and for herself, with this walking away she was doing. She was capable of walking away from him, even though it meant shattering herself in the process, for the right thing.

The right thing.

She zipped up the bag and straightened, feeling the burning heat of his gaze on her all the while.

"You heard me last night, didn't you?" he asked.

She met his eyes. It was useless to lie. "Yes."

Eriol ran a hand through his hair. "Tomoyo--"

She shook her head slowly. "It's all right. No explanations. Remember? Dream world. What is here, we leave here," she said. Her eyes dulled. "She's calling for you back."

Then, with this said, she picked up her bags and bypassed him at the door.

He grabbed her hand. "That's it? You're just going to go? You're just letting _us_ go?"

She gulped in the lump forming at her throat. "You and I... we both have different lives to lead. I just thought it's time for you to go back to yours in England and I returned to mine," she stated softly.

Two seconds seemed like an eternity as deafening silence enveloped them.

Then Tomoyo drew her breath in sharply and walked away.

In Eriol's shock he didn't even notice that her hand had gone from his.

Tears falling from her eyes, she walked out of the house they both considered sanctuary.

And in essence, walked out of his life.

(December 6th, 2001; Ekai Ungson)


AN: Okay. Before anyone goes and hatches a plan to murder me, I'M WRITING A SEQUEL. Please have a little faith. ^-^

The thank yous-- (raises glass)

-Joy, who lent me Erich Segal's "Doctors", whose biting humor was the inspiration for most of the dry humor in Eriol and Tomoyo's conversations;
-Rachelle, who drew artwork for this that is simply beautiful, and read this fic and liked it;
-Joyce-chan, who looooooooved this fic;
-Kit Spooner, who, by writing "A Capella", sent me back into the ExT roll;
-syao-chan, who loves me;
-sasami-chan, who also loves me;
-the people who read and review me on FF.net;
-JM-san, who looooves Will Beauchamp (expect him in the sequel, "Still")
-CLAMP, w/o them I would have no purpose in life

--Dedicated to all the people who believe that dreams could be rendered real... if only for a day.