I remember it so clearly now. The day I spent, no, we spent our finally moments together.

I will not deny it. When he died, a part of me died with him. But…

Before he died… he asked me a question. A simple question…

"Aegis… would you wait for me?" He said this in a serene expression, with his eyes half open.

Truthfully, I was afraid when he asked me this. Was he going to leave, like when he faced Nyx by himself? Was he going to leave me behind?

"Are you going somewhere…?" I asked this feverishly, trying to hide my worried tone. He saw through me immediately, like he always does.

"…Not quite." He said after a few moments of silence, as if he were searching for the exact words. "But if I were gone for a while…" He gazed at me from my lap.

"…Would you wait?"

"Of course I would…" My throat felt dry, my voice was trembling. I could feel the tears well up in my eyes. "I would wait forever, if it meant seeing you again…"

"…Do you mean that…?" His eyes were nearly closed for a moment, but opened again.

I tried to find the words. Not the words in my databanks. I wanted this to come form my 'heart'.

"…I…want to be your strength." I began to say. "Even if it takes an eternity, I would stay by your side…" The tears began sliding down my cheeks, and they fell onto his face. He raised a hand and wiped them away from my eyes.

"Please— tell me…" My voice sounded desperate. I stifled any tears I had left. "Are you… going somewhere where I cannot…? Are you going to…"

"…Leave you?" He finished for me, and looked thoughtful.

There was a moment of silence before he answered me.

"…That's why I'm asking… if you'll wait…" His eyes were half-open again, but he gazed at me earnestly.

"…Would you…?"

"If it means if I'll see you again…." I closed my eyes, and mustered the best smile I could, and opened my eyes. "…Then I will wait."

He gazed at me for a moment. Then, contented, he closed his eyes.

"I'm…glad…"

I gazed at his sleeping form, as the shouts of the others grew louder. I closed my eyes again.

"I'll stay by your side…protecting you, always." I opened them once more, to see that a small, but noticeable smile graced his pale, fragile face.

I loved that smile. I still do.

I didn't say it back then. I wish he had heard me say it. So I'll say it now, as I look up to the azure, blue sky.

"…I will wait forever if I have to, Minato… I promise you."