To Be Strong

Disclaimer: I do not own Scryed, nor any of the characters.

Couple: Cougar x Mimori

LLLL

AN: I took a break for a bit, did some writing in notebooks and such to get my life to the point that I felt I needed it before truly being able to come back and typing up fanfics. During my absence and the continual wow-playing/rping, I wrote and drew little. However, with what I did, I came up with these two fics for the Scryed universe.

LLLLL

"Sometimes you've got to be wrong
And learn the hard way
And sometimes you've got to be strong
When you think it's too late"

-"Repetance" Dream Theater

LLLLL

She watched the words come out as she held him. Her arms holding onto him as weak chains to a small part of his humanity, before slowly falling away from his almost cold frigid body with the words from his lips stinging her worse than any time before.

Scheris Adjani gave her life for mine.

Those words hid the real meaning behind them. They hid the sadness, the desperation, the need, and the foolishness of a regret that he should have acted upon. He loved her and Mimori Kiryuu could hear it, feel it, and wanted so much at that moment to be blinded from the truth again because it hurt less. She wanted to close her eyes to this revelation.

She almost could close her eyes and see that blue-haired woman, with a niggling of something akin to envy, despite the woman's fate, at the crossroads of the two doors. She could feel the set of her shoulders, the glance back at Cougar and herself, before setting off in her determination, bound to something Mimori had thought she had. Scheris had not taken protection with her, though the scientist had an idea that even had it been offered, the woman would not have taken it. The HOLY lieutenant walked into that door of fate with nothing but herself.

The moment Mimori had taken her path at the strange alter castle with Cougar, she knew, somewhere in her heart that she had chosen her own path as well, away from Scheris, away from Ryuho. She had let him go, unknowingly. Even with all of her heart, wrenching in pain at this new piece of information, the HOLD scientist was glad he was alive, though it was only at the grace of Scheris's sacrifice.

She never realized during all of her foolish watching for Ryuho, that she had ended up trying to hold a bright, burning star in her hands to only get burns on her hands as the star flew away into the night, much like he was doing now, head bowed in shame at her words and walking away. She outstretched her hand for a moment, opening her mouth as if to call for him, but instead she dropped her hand to her side and looked away with a shaky breath.

Unwittingly, Mimori found herself at Kanami's home, opening the door to see no one there. Apparently, Kanami had slept over at Tachibana's home for the night, probably to see if Kazuma had returned there yet. Though the old place was quiet, Mimori felt disturbed at the silence, laying down on a cot as her tears fell down her cheeks. He did not love her. It was a repeated phrase in her mind with soft, aching sobs from her lips as her body was wracked with the force of her tears.

LLLL

It had not occurred to the ex-HOLD scientist how long she had been out, nor how hungry she really was after her tiresome bouts of crying. When she looked up at a clock that had been scavenged, she saw that it was the afternoon and she had been in bed for nearly two and a half days questioning herself at every turn for what it seemed was that the one true thing she had built her life's work on, Ryuho, the one constant despite all the change, had changed without her, leaving her in the dust completely.

With her hands reaching for one of the cupboards, she stopped shortly, slowly realizing that despite everything that had happened a few days ago, she wasn't truly worse off. Yes, it was a fact that she loved Ryuho, but now….it was not about her. She audibly gasped, feeling utterly silly and downright rude when she came to the revelation that in truth, Ryuho was silently needing her, asking for her to understand when he said those words.

It had not been meant in anger or spite, just Ryuho's dumb blunt truth as he realized it. Looking back, Mimori realized that he had looked scared for a few moments as her heart broke with his words as if the bluntness of them had opened a door he was far too afraid to cross. Despite being a rationale person, Mimori grabbed a muffin that Kanami had made either the morning before or that night, and ran out the door to find him.

LLLL

Later, Mimori Kiryuu found the alter user, sitting in front of a hand-made grave, almost looking at nothing with his fingers grasping onto the wooden cross he had put up with the plaque that read his lieutenant's name. When he finally noticed her, he saw the relief in her eyes before her arms came around him for a second time, and her voice came through the emptiness to tell him that she was his friend still.

She was going to be there as his friend and that she would help him if he needed it still. The relief in her words only made his body shake, crying into her shoulder like a child. He wasn't Ryuho of HOLY anymore. He was simply Ryuho who had lost the person he loved and just needed a friend.

LLLL

Mimori woke up to the sounds of someone washing the dishes in her sink. It had been a long day beforehand, with Ryuho needing to simply to be comforted. The fact that she had held him in his dire need of it, made her smile a little to herself, knowingly realizing that she would always be his friend and that he loved her, but not in the way she truly wanted and simply, she knew that the spot she wanted so much, was reserved. Slowly getting up from her bed, brushing her hair and teeth, she walked into the kitchen to see Cougar Straight cooking.

He was slowly –for him, a feat- making pancakes, mixing the batter while holding the bowl in one hand. The Radical Good Speed was slowly adjusting to his new life, becoming slower and taking his time with things since the major Alter battle. The tall man was a common occurrence in Kanami's house as he and Mimori shared an interest in books, keeping a library together in a room. He also helped Mimori's practice as she had made a doctor's office for the locals of the Lost Ground to come to and did general things to help around.

Glancing up from his current view of the pancake batter, the alter user smiled and greeted her. With his batter done, frying pan already set up, he motioned Mimori to the table. She sat down, head in her hands as she thought over the past few days, closing her eyes instinctively when she remembered Ryuho's words to her.

"You're not alone, Mimori." Looking up in surprise, feeling Cougar's warm hand on her cheek, Mimori opened her lips to speak to only be shushed. His eyes twinkled brightly and he nodded to her before setting down her pancakes in front of her. (She didn't realize she had ended up thinking too long and hard.)

"If you ever need me, as a boyfriend, lover, husband, or even a friend, though I prefer the former since it entails the fact that I would be romantically involved with you and that is something that I would like immensely though I am sure that you would like it too if you ever decided to give me a try but alas, I would not mind being your in-study for dark and dastardly minded Ryuho, though I must say to that effect that I am effectually a better lead in than he would ever be for one, I don't make beautiful women traverse tunnels by themselves and two I would never truly lead you on unless it was a birthday surprise or some….Why are you laughing?" Cougar's slower, but still jumbled and ranting way that he talked only made the scientist at the table crack out in laughter. Cougar, she realized albeit slowly, was the one thing in her life that would never seem to truly change. He would always try to make her smile and even more, he would always be the person he is to her.

His hand, still on her cheek, was stroking her skin slowly before her own fingers came up to rest on them.

"Thank you, Cougar. I don't ever want you to leave me again." She spoke softly, blushing as she realized the words coming out from her lips as she watched his expression brighten considerably before opening her mouth to speak again. "Your pancakes are burning."

With a comical yelp, the Radical Good Speed went back to his pancakes from his daze with Mimori, trying to put out the burning breakfast. Mimori only watched him with a soft, graceful smile upon her lips, realizing that despite all the changes with Ryuho and her heart, that she truly had to be strong. She was no longer going to rely on Ryuho as much for her self-worth, but most of all, she would be there as well for Cougar more too because he was her knight in pink shiny armor.

LLLL

That is it folks! Hope you enjoyed! Please R'n'R!