I've been noticing the sun lately. There's no where I have to be so I just let it wake me up in the morning. I can't even remember the last time I used an alarm clock. Then again, sometimes I fell like I can't remember anything past yesterday. Or maybe the day before.

In the morning after the sun wakes me up I have a routine. I blink open my eyes, wake Antonio, grab my crutch. Then we head out into the kitchen for breakfast. Today my routine is different for two reasons. The first one is kinda confusing; the second is something… good.

When I open my eyes, Antonio isn't next to me. The sheets are cold and the blanket is pulled up as far as it could be without waking me. Resting on top of his pillow is a small piece of paper, with a tiny blue string attached to it. I yawn and reach for it, wondering what the hell Antonio is up to now.


Good morning! Did you have a good sleep? I hope you did. A little while ago I decided that when the time was right I wanted to show you something. Something that tells you how much I love you. So when you wake up, just follow this string and I'll meet you when you're done, okay? I love you.


I stare at it for a few seconds before shaking my head. What the hell… Sometimes I don't even know what he's thinking. Oh well. Can't do anything about it now. So I grab the string, swing my legs over the side of the bed, reach for my crutch and-

And then I remember. A tiny smile spreads over my face. I stand, holding my arms out and wobbling slightly on my feet. I look around.

No more crutch.

That's the second thing that's different about this morning. Yesterday I got rid of that thing for good. I still limp a bit when I walk, and I can't go all that fast, hell that limp will probably never go away, but right at this moment it feels good to be under my own power, and only my own, for the first time in… a long time.

Still holding the string I follow it over to the dresser. Resting on top is a small rectangle of paper, held down by one of those glass orbs. Carefully I lift it and turn it over, revealing a Polaroid image. I touch the glossy surface, and look into a painting of my own face. Farther along the string there's another note.

I found this painting a long time ago. I didn't tell you I had it because I thought it would make you mad. Looking at it now makes me happy, while I remember the time you little and I promised I would take care of you.

Shrugging, I place the picture back on the dresser and pull on some clothes. Slipping the picture into my pocket I head to the door, where another picture and note is taped to the handle.

This one's more recent. An older black and white, me scowling at the camera and holding an ice cream cone. After the first war. Before the second.

Do you remember this, Lovi? It was so hot that day. I think you were mad at me about something, so I took you out for ice cream and you forgave me. You didn't tell me, but I knew you did. You stayed at my house that night. To tell you a secret, I snuck into your room and watched you sleep. You looked so peaceful… And then you whispered my name. What were you dreaming about?

My face heats up, my fist tightens around the note. That… that…! I sigh. Whatever.

…I think you were mad at me about something…

I don't get mad as much as I used to. Not unless its something that's actually worth it. Its like what I think is important has changed. I smirk, more at myself then anything else and pocket the second picture. I guess it has.

I open the door and follow the string into the bathroom in the hall. It's a Polaroid again, taped to the mirror so the image is facing the glass. I tear it off, look at it for one second, and run to the toilet so I can vomit. The picture flutters to the floor, and my bruised and bloody face stares down the ceiling. I grip the sides of the toilet, and the image flashes in front of my face, the caption runs across my mind.

In the ambulance, about ten minutes after I found you. Right then, there wasn't anything I or anyone could do for you. I was scared. I held your hand in mine.

Slowly I stand, and drag myself to the sink. The water runs, I breath heavily, look up into the mirror, at a yellow sticky-note, the message written in blue flare pen.

I love you.

"Idiot," I whisper, "You idiot…"

Finally I leave the bathroom, the Polaroid still on the floor. Dead upon arrival. The blue string urges me forward, daring me to find out what comes next. I step forward, and let it pull me further.

Along the way more Polaroids hang off the string. No notes, and its all I can do to look for even a second. Time passing before my eyes. One image for every month. Slowly I watch the blood get cleared off, the bandages grow less, the bruises shift from an angry blue to black, and finally to a dull purple. I wipe the tears from my eyes, and tell my heart to stop pounding so hard.

It ends at the door to the living room. A small envelope rests on the floor. Placing a hand on the wall for balance I reach down and scoop it up, wincing as one of the muscles in my leg pulls the wrong way. I heft its weight in my hand before reading what Antonio scrawled on the front.

All of these pictures are pieces of you. And each one of them means the most to me. I sound sort of cheesy, don't I? But I have to say, that the image inside this envelope is the one I like best. Why don't you take a look? When you're done I'm waiting for you. (:

Carefully, I break the seal and slip whatever's inside onto my hand.

Its kind of pretty, the mirror.

I look older. In regular years I'm supposed to be about twenty-two but now… Maybe I am older. Maybe all of this…crap has somehow made me physically age. But I don't think so. Looking in the mirror I touch the skin on my face, running my fingers over the scars, running my fingers through my hair. The only part of me that's older is my mind, because I've seen things that no other war in history could have showed me. And finally, after all of these years…

I can accept myself.

I push the door open. Antonio's standing there, smiling as if nothing has happened. And suddenly, it hasn't. The war didn't happen, I was never in the hospital. It's a pretty illusion, and as Antonio steps forward one more tear falls down my cheek.

I grin, "Thanks, bastard."

He wipes away the water, "For what, Lovi?" he pulls me close.

"For saving my life."

Because I don't want to think about living forever. Because right now, I don't want anything but the now.

"Hey, Lovino?"

"Hang on a sec," Reaching forward I grab his shirt, and kiss him for all this now is worth. We break apart, his eyes are bright, "What did you want to say?"

He smiles, like he did before that thing that happened. I smile, like I never would have in front of anyone before that thing that happened.

"Let's dance, Lovi."

Here comes the future.

So that's the end. I hope you liked it :3 Sorry it took so long to get out; school has been sucking away my life. And I want to thank everyone who reviews because I really like knowing what you think of my writing!

P.S. The first person who can name the artist of the song title I used for the last line wins a free fic with the prompt of their choice! (Bonus drabble if you don't look it up~)