A/N: This is based off of the drama, not the manga. It's meant to replace the scene at the end of episode 10.
If he must be honest, he's always been grateful for the moon. (For once, he doesn't have to bother with the light.)
Tonight, it illuminates his—her radiant skin and ballroom dress, her dark hair a sharp shadow. His surprise at her attire is muted and fleeting.
Chasing dreams was always too time-consuming.
But she sniffs then, and he knows that she is crying. It's come full circle again.
It's not so much a question as an expectation. After all, he was always the one to place a smile on her face, and that damn track star never could keep his gloom to himself.
She could answer with a fact. It would be easier too, to deflect a loaded question by taking it for face value. But maybe, she's tired of always hiding.
"Yes," she says simply.
He wonders if she's understood him from the beginning.
Folding his arms, he says all too cheerfully: "You know…I never could understand it, why you're so insistent upon being close with someone who hurts you. But maybe I'm not meant to understand."
Her fingers clench.
"It's not—this isn't always. He doesn't act like this all the time."
"Just most of the time."
She doesn't have an answer for that.
Maybe, if they talked like this more…but he's not used to it. There have always been things like circles and cracks, and what falls into them. But lately, too many things have fallen through. He's only just realized that he's tired of it.
He's been afraid too.
"Did it ever occur to you that you deserve someone who loves you enough to treat you as you deserve to be treated, someone who you don't have to make any excuses for?"
And she turns, her face shocked and angry…and afraid. But he knows. This is always the hardest part.
"Don't—don't say that…"
"I will say it, and I will say it as many times as it takes to sink into your head: you deserve better."
"No, I…I have been selfish and forceful…maybe I—"
"No," he gasps, and takes her thin shoulders in his hands. He had every intention of stopping then.
Instead, he kisses her.
At first, it is like kissing a statue in the sun. She is stiff, and he explores her lips, his frustrated thoughts of respond to me! heard though not uttered. He almost shakes her then, but stops himself with the thought that it was something Sano would do.
A tear escapes his eye. Where had he ever gone wrong, to merit a rejection?
"I will never make you cry," he murmurs desperately against her lips. He begins to pull away.
She gasps, and before she's thought it through, she's kissing him back.
The tear becomes one of joy.