Disclaimer: I don't and will never own POT… boooooooooo. I don't own The Little Match Girl either. 'If Only' quote from 'Holes' by Louis Sachar, though it also appears in a song, I think.

A/N: I've always loved reading small, sad stories, and I had loved the story of The Little Match Girl since I was little, so I decided to write a tragic POT version. Hope you like it!

Summary: Fuji Syusuke's family is very rich, and he doesn't really pay attention to homeless or poor people, until he meets Ryoma.

Warning: AU. Based on The Little Match Girl. Character death. Angst. That should be it! I've added a few suffixes on the names cause it sounds better. I apologies for any mistakes in this one-shot.

Right, most technology is here but there are some places where only rich people get electricity. It's my world; I can do whatever I want!!!! Just bear with it, okay, it's only a one-shot.

Pairings: Teeny tiny bit of thrill. (Fuji/Ryoma) Seriously, if you were looking for thrill, it ain't here.

Saa – Not really a word, can mean well.

Bochama – Young Master

Chichiue – Formal for Father (I hope)

Hahaue – Formal for Mother (I think. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Gakuen – School or Academy

Tensai – Genius

Arigato – Thank you

Pretend Seishun Gakuen had a sister high school next to the middle school, kay?


If Only I Remembered

If only, if only, the woodpecker sighs

The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies,

While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely

And cries to the moon, if only, if only

Fuji Syusuke

Fuji Syusuke looked up at the grey skies as the white snowflakes drifted down. It was near evening time on New Year's Eve, and many rushed around like headless chickens, eager to get the best bargains and leaving footprints in the snow. It had snowed heavily before, but now it had eased to a few floating down. Fuji held out his hand and a snowflake landed on his gloved hand.

Beautiful, the world is so beautiful.

He would have captured the image of the scene, but he had left his camera in the house, where he was headed to now.

Saa, if only I had my camera.

In his left hand, he held a small white flower, a present from one of his admirers from school he had bumped into. (Fuji swears she was stalking him). The flower was beautiful enough, but he had no intention of returning the gesture.

Fuji breathed out, watching his breath turn to mist, and clutched his large brown coat tighter around himself before walking briskly down the street. The place he was in was one of the poorer regions, and he saw a few homeless people on the side of the streets, but he paid them no heed. They seemed to be okay, with their old blankets wrapped around themselves. As he walked forward, he heard a small voice ahead of him.

"Please ma'am, won't you buy a match? A match? Ma'am, please buy a match, it will keep you warm in this weather. Please. Please…"

Fuji neared just as a woman turned up her nose at something.

"I don't need a match. I have a heater," she said firmly before sauntering off.

The woman who had been blocking Fuji's vision revealed behind her a tiny crevice between two houses. And wedged there was a small boy. Fuji walked closer, out of strange curiosity. The boy was wearing a simple robe that covered his body but was visibly thin. His bare feet pale and turning blue at the toes sat in the snow. A hood covered his head, and when the boy looked up, Fuji was met with the most golden eyes he'd ever seen. Black, green-tinted hair framed his angelic face.

"Please sir. Buy a match, buy a match to keep warm." The boy said to him in a small, pleading voice.

Fuji crouched down to eye level and smiled comfortingly. His heart aching at the sight of the boy huddled on the ground, alone.

"What's your name?" he asked softly.

"M-my name, sir?"

"Aaa."

"My name is Ryoma, sir. Will you buy a match?"

Fuji smiled sadly.

"I'm sorry, Ryoma-kun. I don't have money on me today."

His heart almost broke when the small face crumpled. The sheer delicateness of the small boy surprised him; he wondered how he was surviving in the harsh weather of winter. He lifted his left hand, and Ryoma looked questioningly at the palm.

"Here, Ryoma-kun," he said and gently placed the white flower into Ryoma's hands. "I'll go to my house and get my money and come straight back. I give this flower to you as a promise. I promise to buy at least 10 boxes of matches."

He couldn't help but open his eyes and stare as Ryoma's face turned into pure delight and gratitude, and he felt the masked smile he always wore turn genuine at the boy's happiness.

"Thank you, sir! Thank you very much, kind sir!" Ryoma smiled.

Trusting, Fuji thought. He is so trusting.

"Call me Syusuke."

Fuji chuckled slightly at the surprised look on Ryoma's face. It was cute.

"S-Syusuke-san…"

"Ryoma-kun, Syusuke is fine," Fuji chastised softly.

Ryoma just shook his head furiously.

"Syusuke-san," he repeated firmly.

Fuji chuckled again, before standing up.

"Wait for me, Ryoma-kun. I'll be back," he said before dashing off.

Fuji ran the rest of the way back, keen to see Ryoma again. He didn't know why, but something inside him couldn't help but be drawn to the boy. Not that he was protesting. The boy was so fragile. He suddenly had an idea. If Ryoma didn't have a home to go back to, he might be able to take him back to his house! Excited at the thought, he rushed to the door and unlocked it, then barged into his three story house.

The Fuji family were famous for their breath-taking paintings. In fact, you were almost certain to find at least one Fuji painted portrait or landscape picture in every wealthy family's house. No one could deny the skilfully made masterpieces.

A butler greeted him and took his coat.

"Fuji-bochama, you are wanted in the meeting room."

Fuji frowned, but nonetheless made his way to the meeting room, hoping this wouldn't take too long. A servant greeted him and opened the door, and Fuji walked in. He saw his parents talking to a stranger, though this wasn't unusual. Many people did business with the Fuji family. Well, that's what he assumed they were talking about. But business matters didn't generally involve him. Granted, he was an excellent painter like his parents, but he never sold his pictures.

"Ah, Syusuke-kun, you're back. Just in time," his father said.

"In time for what?"

His mother beamed at him. "This is Migurashi-san. We have discussed this matter fully, and come to the conclusion that would be best for you."

Fuji just stared at them, puzzled.

Migurashi chuckled and held out his hand, and Fuji shook it, a little reluctantly.

"Hello, Syusuke-kun. My name is Migurashi Soka. I'm principle of Latowidge Academy. I am honoured that such a fine man will be joining my school."

However Fuji had stopped listening after the school's name was stated.

Latowidge Academy, one of the most prestigious schools in Japan. Famous for the genius students that study there, who go on to become incredibly influential people. Expensive as hell, but it was every parents dream for their child to study there.

Just one problem. It was in Tokyo.

Fuji stared at his parents with open eyes, who just smiled cheerfully.

"Chichiue? Hahaue? What is the meaning of this? I go to Seishun Gakuen. Not Tokyo's Latowidge Academy."

"That's changed now, Syusuke dear. We sent in an application for you to study at Latowidge Academy, and Migurashi-san is very impressed. Your marks are near perfect and you achieve the highest grades," his mother gushed.

Migurashi nodded his head, smiling. "Yes, your marks are extraordinary. I could instantly tell that you were a tensai, I just had to have you at my school. I know that you will do wonders in the world," he said passionately, his eyes sparkling with the dream of Fuji becoming world famous for something (most likely painting), and him right by his side, proud that The Syusuke Fuji studied at his Academy. Instant distinction. Instant money.

"I don't want to go."

All three adults stared at the 14-year-old in shock.

"I beg your pardon!?" his father spluttered.

"I said, I don't want to go," Fuji repeated resolutely.

"Why not?" his mother exclaimed, upset that her son didn't want to go to such a well-known school.

"Because I like it here. I like Seigaku. I have friends here!"

"You can make new friends."

"I don't want to make new friends! I don't want to go to Tokyo. I don't want to leave Seigaku," he finished, a little meekly.

"Syusuke-!" his father started.

"Not to worry, not to worry. I understand that this might have been a little bit of a shock. So I will give you three days to reconsider," Migurashi said, though his smile was a little strained. He almost broke down at the thought of losing such a talented individual.

"Ah, Migurashi-san! I'm so sorry for this. And you had come so far! Please accept or deepest apologies," Fuji's father stammered, embarrassed.

"No, no, it's quite alright. I'll be going now to let you discuss this matter. When you have come to a decision, please ring my cell phone number. Have a good evening," he said, and walked to one of the servants who led him out.

There was a moment of silence, before it was broken by Fuji storming towards the other door."

"Syu-!"

Slam!

Fuji walked briskly (he did not run) upstairs and into his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him, almost hitting the maid that was following behind. He flicked on the light, plopped himself on the freshly-made bed and took the sketch-pad off his table. If he was honest with himself, he loved sketching more than painting, and only his most precious pictures were drawn and painted onto a canvas and hung in his large bedroom. Currently the only paintings on his walls was a picture of a cactus and a setting sun shining on some tennis courts, which happened to be Seigaku's.

Only one picture currently resided on his bedside table, (everything else was books and stationary) and that was a photo of him and his tennis teammates/friends. They had almost won the nationals, but were just beaten by Rikkaidai Fuzoku. His team wasn't beaten, though. They were determined to have another crack in their high school years.

And I want to reach that goal with them, not with Latowidge Academy! Their sports department never get very far.

Fuji had been thinking so hard, that when he looked down at his paper, he had drawn a flawless version of the photo of his team.

Fuji sighed and put his pencil and sketch-pad back onto his desk. The clock on the wall read 10:29pm, so Fuji decided he would sleep for now, and talk to his parents about this tomorrow morning.

As he got changed and lay in bed, he couldn't help but wonder if he'd forgotten something. But just as he recalled golden eyes, he heard a knock on his bedroom door.

"Bochama? Do you need anything?" A maid outside asked.

"No thank you. I would like to sleep now."

"Yes sir," the voice said, before the sound of footsteps faded away.

Fuji sunk into his large bed and pulled the covers up to his chin. He was tired, and he would sort everything out tomorrow.

:- - - - -:

Fuji woke up slowly, and he blearily looked at the roof of his bedroom. After he lay there for a few minutes, he realised what had woken him. It was cold. Fuji snuggled deeper into his bed, thankful that it was Sunday, and not a school day.

His family did own a few electric heaters, but the one that was meant to be in his room had been moved into the meeting room last night for the meeting with the principle. Fuji narrowed his eyes at the memory. His parents hadn't even asked him before deciding he should move away and study at Latowidge Academy.

Fuji raised his head and stared longingly at the small fireplace situated at the far end of his bedroom. He had never had to use it before because of the heater, but what he would have given right now to have a nice warm fire going. A pity he didn't have any matches…

Ryoma!

Fuji shot out of his bed and threw on the first things he could get his hands on, which happened to be the clothes he wore yesterday, (and the cloak the butler had helpfully put in his room) and flung the door open, startling the maid about to knock on his door. He rushed past her and left the house as quickly as he could.

Tennis practice came in handy as he rushed down the streets (that were still covered in snow) and made his way to the place he had met Ryoma. He turned the corner, but soon slowed to a halt as he neared. Many people crowded around a space, many with sympathetic faces. Fuji caught snippets of conversation.

"…poor thing…"

"…selling matches…"

"…too cold…"

"…should've bought one…"

"…died alone…"

"…so sad…"

Fuji's eyes widened in fear as he wormed his way through, but jerked to a stop. Ryoma lay motionless against the wall; his hood down to reveal his head, and used matches littered around him. Ryoma's right hand was held against his heart, and in the hand was a small white flower, a little wilted but still preserved from the cold.

Fuji started out of his reverie and hurried to the boy. Kneeling down, he turned to the crowd.

"Someone, get a doctor!"

But no one moved. A few just bowed their heads.

Fuji looked back at Ryoma, and realised how white his face was, how blue his lips were, and how lifeless he body was. Fuji lifted a trembling hand towards Ryoma's neck, feeling for a pulse. He faintly registered how ice cold the body was.

There's no pulse. He has not pulse, his mind murmured to him, taunting him. Fuji allowed a small cry to escape his lips, as he leaned in and hugged the unmoving body of the boy. He couldn't help but realise that Ryoma's death was his fault. Wasn't it he who had told the boy to wait for him?

Fuji just clutched the boy closer to his body.

He didn't know how long he had knelt there, clinging to Ryoma's dead body, because only one thing had been chanting in his mind.

If only I had remembered, you wouldn't have died.

If only I had remembered, you wouldn't have died.

If only I had remembered.

If only I had remembered.

If only.

If only.

If only.

:- - - - -:

Fuji Syusuke walked calmly down the unfamiliar halls. Luckily he had memorised the map, and soon enough stopped at one of the doors. He walked into the room, and was met with many boys and girls chatting away happily, without a care in the world, and excited for it was their first year in high school.

Fuji made his way between desks, and seated himself at the back beside the windows. He put his bag on the floor, then unzipped it and gently took out a small canvas. He smiled with nostalgic fondness as he ran his fingers over the paint. He lifted his head and looked outside, where he saw many students walking to school. He looked up, and watched as a sparrow flitted past and flew into the blue sky.

The classroom door opened, and the class quietened down as a man stood at the front.

"Good morning, class. My name is Saotome Rei. I am your Form teacher and Science teacher. Welcome to Latowidge Academy."

If anyone were to look on Fuji's desk top, they would see the most beautifully painted picture of a single white flower, and behind it the scene of snow falling against a dark grey sky.

ღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐღஐ

Echizen Ryoma

Echizen Ryoma looked up at the grey skies as the white snowflakes drifted down. He didn't like snow. It was cold. Ryoma shivered and clutched his cloak around himself. This was his third time outside, but this time was by far the worst, because it had snowed heavily just hours ago, making the ground almost unbearable. His toes had already gone blue.

Ryoma desperately wanted to go beck to his house, where it was at any rate warmer than outside. But he promised himself that he would sell at least sell four boxes of matches before he went home.

My mother died when I was born, my brother ran away when I was five, my cousin is missing, and my father is dying from some sort of sickness. Ryoma thought sadly. That's why I must sell some matches. I need the money to buy some medicine for Father.

If only I had enough money.

Ryoma looked up as a woman walked by close to him and looked at him with a mildly disgusted look. Ryoma knew the look all to well, but he had to try.

"Please ma'am, won't you buy a match? A match? Ma'am, please buy a match, it will keep you warm in this weather. Please. Please…" He realised how desperate he really was. Without money, he and his father were as good as dead.

His heart plummeted as he saw her turn her nose up.

"I don't need a match. I have a heater," she said firmly before sauntering off.

Ryoma looked dejectedly down at his pale hands. He knew he had expected that response, but that didn't stop the depressed feeling that washed over him.

Ryoma looked up again when a shadow appeared on the snow by his feet, and he saw what he thought was an angel. A pale, flawless face and honey coloured hair that almost reached his shoulders. He could tell he didn't live here, for his cloak was thick and clean, and his shoes looked new. But what surprised him was the closed eye smile on the boy's face. It looked like it was his normal expression, but it didn't stop the warm feeling in his chest. No-one smiles at insignificant people like him.

"Please sir. Buy a match, buy a match to keep warm," he said pleadingly.

Ryoma's eyes widened when the honey-haired boy crouched down.

"What's your name?" he asked softly.

"M-my name, sir?" What was going on? Does the smiling boy not realise I am poor??

"Aaa."

"My name is Ryoma, sir. Will you buy a match?" For some reason, he couldn't help but trust him. Besides, it wasn't like his name was very important. What was important was whether the stranger would be willing to buy a match.

The boy smiled sadly.

"I'm sorry, Ryoma-kun. I don't have money on me today."

He almost cried in anguish. For once, someone is kind to him, but they do not have any money. The stranger was still for a moment, and just when he thought the boy would leave, he held out his left hand, which held a beautiful white flower.

He surely couldn't be giving such a precious thing to me, could he?

"Here, Ryoma-kun," he said and gently placed the white flower into Ryoma's hands. "I'll go to my house and get my money and come straight back. I give this flower to you as a promise. I promise to buy at least 10 boxes of matches."

Ryoma could feel his face melting into delight and gratitude. This boy was so kind. 10 boxes were surly enough! It took a while for him to realise that the pretty boy had his eyes open, and crystal blue eyes looked at him warmly.

"Thank you, sir! Thank you very much, kind sir!" Ryoma smiled.

"Call me Syusuke."

The boy chuckled, most likely at his expression. But Ryoma couldn't help it. He wondered if this was all actually a dream. But he felt cold, so it couldn't be.

"S-Syusuke-san…"

"Ryoma-kun, Syusuke is fine," Syusuke chastised softly.

Ryoma just shook his head furiously.

"Syusuke-san," he repeated firmly. It would be impolite for him to say his name with such familiarity.

Syusuke chuckled again, before standing up.

"Wait for me, Ryoma-kun. I'll be back," he said before dashing off.

Ryoma stared at the back of Syusuke until he turned the corner, before sighing and slumping against the wall, but with a blissful smile on his face. His fingers twiddled with the stem of the flower, careful not to squish it.

But as the minutes went by, gradually no one wandered the streets, and the cold sank deeper into his bones. He couldn't feel his feet anymore, and his hands were so cold it felt like they were burning. He took the small brown pouch filled with about 11 boxes and took out one, putting the pouch behind him. He lifted the first box and lit a match, and sighed in relief as the warm light washed over his face. The meagre fire wasn't nearly enough to warm him, but it felt good on his hands and face.

And Ryoma saw wonderful visions.

In the glow, he saw his father taking his small hand and walking with him through a meadow of red and white flowers. He saw himself run his fingers through them, oh how soft they are, the pretty flowers. The fire went out, and the images along with it. Ryoma hurried to light another match.

This time Ryoma saw himself seated with his family, even his brother, cousin and deceased mother (he had seen old pictures of her) around a large table, filled with all sorts of different foods. The smell was so alluring. He reached out to eat some of the ham when the vision disappeared. He had dropped the match onto the ground.

Ryoma lit match after match, each vision as marvellous as the last. Until finally, there was only one match left. Ryoma lit it quickly.

This one was different though. His other visions all had one or more of his family members, but in this one, he saw himself standing in front of a large door. He looked to his right and saw a honey-haired boy smiling at him, before opening the door.

"Syusuke-san," he heard himself say, and the boy turned to him from within the house.

"Come in, Ryoma-kun. It's too cold to stay outside," he said, taking Ryoma's hand and leading him into the warm house.

"Syusuke-san," Ryoma said, but he didn't seem to hear as they carried on inside the house.

"Syusuke-san."

"Syusuke-san."

Ryoma smiled.

"Arigato, Syusuke…"

Ryoma's world went dark.


A/N: Uwaaah, that was so sad to write. Hope you like it.

I chose him being a Science teacher because my favourite subject is Science and my favourite teacher at my school is a Science teacher.

---Would anyone like to write a multi-chapter version of this where Ryoma doesn't die, and goes to Seigaku, etc etc? I would, but I'm focusing on my other story right now. If you are willing, please inform me cause I want to read it too!!