Hi, there! For those of you who don't know me, of which I'm sure there are many, I'm DannysGhostWriter, and I've dared to dabble in this amazing fandom (the first one I ever really followed, except Pokémon).

I do hope you'll enjoy my story and give me some lovely reviews. Constructive criticism is cool – I can deal with it easily! In fact, I appreciate it.

Disclaimer: Kiki's Delivery Service is the sole property of Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli, and Eiko Kadono. I claim no ownership to the characters, locations, or anything else, except the story.

Tombo Kopori would count the stars every night, and he liked to imagine that he and Kiki could see each other through them.

He remembered the day she'd left; how she was so flustered and quavering and how her skirt fluttered bravely against the seaside winds. It was twelve days, five hours, and thirty-three minutes after his fourteenth birthday. She'd come to his party, and when no one was looking, the two of them had stolen out into the gazebo in his backyard and he'd made a hand-shaking, cheek-burning attempt to kiss her (he'd missed). The night had been impossibly clear; it was like watching space through a piece of sharp glass. Kiki showed him the constellation of Leo, her zodiac sign. Tombo hadn't been watching the stars; he'd been watching her petal-soft cheeks as they made way for her moon-washed smile.

Almost everyone in Koriko had known that the day when Kiki would leave was bound to come, but none had wanted to deny it as much as Tombo. He spent every moment with her talking of aviation and rampant dreams, never once dwelling upon the possibility that after a year – a single, meager, feeble year – she would no longer be there to listen. To him, Kiki would always be in Koriko, and she'd always be lying next to him on the beach, counting his freckles and giggling.

Kiki left at sunset on a white-washed Friday in early summer. She would be taking off from the corner of Osono's bakery. The sky was a vibrant, ethereal pink as Kiki's closest friends lined the stone balcony to bid her farewell. Tombo was among them – along with Barsa and her mistress, Ursula, Ket and his mother, and, naturally, Osono. Jiji was grumbling to Kiki that sticking around for long good-byes would only make leaving more difficult, and that she should just get it over with and go. But Kiki had rested her broom against the cobblestoned balustrade and approached each of her tearful companions wordlessly, her infinitely enigmatic eyes downcast. She had given Osono the tightest hug of all, blurting out broken "thank you"s and scattered promises to write. When she came to Tombo, the others regarded the two children with unbearable sympathy, but Tombo paid them no heed, instead focusing his dazed, half-closed gaze on her sorrowfully drooping red bow and the moist rivulets twisting down her cheeks.

She held out her hand stiffly, not looking at him, as if planning on simply shaking hands and being on her way. Tombo's fingers twitched weakly, almost taking it, but he was surprised to find himself leaping forward and embracing her with a foolish, almost pathetic, amount of unbridled passion. It was in that instant that he realized he couldn't let her go; there was no force on earth that could make him release her and let her fly away—

"I'll write, Tombo," she mumbled, her fragile voice palpitating with the threat of sobs. "Really I will. Every… every… day…" She tangled her arms around him then, remembering how close they'd come to the ghost of a first kiss, remembering diving desperately after him as he fell from the dirigible, remembering the time he'd pedaled eagerly after her when she'd made her first grand, noisy entrance to Koriko. And, because she was a tender young girl of fourteen, unafraid of showing her sadness, she cried into his red-and-white striped shoulder that smelled of laundry soap and motor oil and pecans.

She stepped back, her hands clutching his imploringly, her cheeks the same pink as the slowly reddening sky. "You'll remember me, won't you?"

With an unfaltering certainty, he boldly answered, "always."

What happened next was always a blur to him, but after a moment he was standing a few feet behind the crowd as they waved her good-bye, and her deep indigo dress was billowing as she soared across the vast expanse of sea, and Tombo could not bring himself to raise a hand to wave or to shout out any parting words. Before long, she was nothing but a speck, then a glimmer, then a memory.

Osono had offered to make him some tea if he'd like, if he'd just come inside, but he walked away, not answering, taking hold of his bike and mounting it, pedaling furiously home, almost unblinking.

Kiki never sent him any letters.