Disclaimer: The usual; do not own Angel Beats, and if I owned Angel Beats, the direction of the anime would not go the way it did, etc, etc. Also bad at grammar/tenses, thus you are advised not to cringe.

Carpe Diem

"...If the place where we returned to was the same,
I wouldn't mind being interrupted by the clock.."

"Move on, Otonashi."

That command was said with utter deadpan.

Otonashi Yuzuru grimaced. "But - "

"No," the girl in front of him cut in. Her slender hand rubbed against her temples, and she sighed. "You've done enough."

"But - "

"No."

He watched her run an exasperated hand through her black hair; long, flowing hair that reached past her shoulders.

She frowned up at him.

"Don't you think you've sacrificed enough already?"

"It's not even about sacrif - "

She waved a hand at him sharply. "Enough with the old arguments. We both know what I mean, and that's not it."

"Yukino - "

This time she glared at him.

"Move on, Otonashi. You've stayed here long enough."

"But you're still here." He pointed at her with an accusing finger.

She tapped her foot impatiently.

"Let me put it this way. If you're still here, I can't move on."

It was his turn to glare at her. "You can't do that!"

Her only response was to cross her hands. "You know I can and will, Otonashi."

"That's not very fair."

"Life's not fair," she said dismissively.

The cliché-ness of that phrase did not escape either of them, situation considered.

The ebony-haired girl sighed again. She glanced away, down, at the field where the unreal students milled about, and leaned against the cold railings of the roof.

"Don't you think Tachibana would be waiting for you, Yuzuru?" She said his name for the very first time.

Immediately, he tensed.

Her gaze moved to stare at him again.

"Tachibana Kanade," she said softly. "Even after all this time, you still love her."

He was beginning to wonder why he ever told her about Kanade.

"Because you decided to regale me with the tales of the battlefront," she answered. He hadn't realized that he had spoken aloud.

Right. Yes. Why did he do that...?

She smirked. "Because, apparently, I remind you of your sister."

Oh. Right. Of course.

Her gaze softened.

"Move on, Otonashi," she repeated quietly. "Kids will always keep coming here. That is how unfair life will always be."

He rubbed at his nose, seemingly almost wryly amused. "Doesn't mean I can't always help things along a little."

She cocked her head at him. "Don't you think it would've been better if you helped to make sure they don't come here at all?"

He stopped at that.

That train of thought hadn't occurred to him.

Yukino almost smiled. "Assuming that you get reincarnated, at least," she added with a hint of amusement. "But you'll never know unless you let yourself go, would you?"

He gave her a considering look.

"...You really want me to go, don't you?"

"I do," she said without missing a beat.

He didn't really know what to say to that.

She moved to squeeze his arm gently. "Move on. Be the doctor you should have been. And find the girl you love."

The taller boy had to chuckle at the thought of the long lost dream. "You make it sound as if I would remember wanting to be a doctor." He paused, "hell, you make it sound as if I would definitely reincarnate."

She had to smile at that. "You know what they say. Life's a cycle of death and rebirth. But you won't know till you try, would you?"

"Meh."

"Otonashi!" Yukino scolded lightly. "Are you going to move on or not?"

Still he hesitated. "But - "

"Otonashi..." she said warningly. "Move on, or I can't move on."

He glared at her. "You're a cheater."

She sniffed. "Proud to be one."

His hand twitched; he felt like strangling her. Juuuuust a little.

"...Fine." He half-sighed and half scowled.

"Good boy," she cooed, reaching up to pat his head; it wasn't difficult to reach, the girl was just half a head shorter than him.

Again, he glared.

Her lips curled again, and this time, the smile was far more genuine and softer.

"You would've been a great doctor."

"I didn't even manage to take the exam for my university."

"Better make sure you take it this time around, huh?"

"If I remember."

She smirked, and poked at his chest with a finger. "It will."

He batted her hand away. "You know - "

"Yuzuru."

He blinked down at her extended hand, before looking up at her.

Yukino smiled. "I hope we will meet again."

He grinned back and grasped her hand. "Better call me by my name then, Yukino-chan. I don't want to hear Otonashi now that I managed to get you to call me Yuzuru."

She snorted in response.

"And you better not linger here like I did," he begin to threaten, "or - "

"Or I'd be like you, alone, sad, and longing?"

He closed his mouth. Those words stung.

She squeezed his hand lightly, almost apologetically. Only she wasn't, she was the sort who would say exactly what she meant. "Don't worry about me. I will be right behind you, Yuzuru."

"Yukino - "

"Go."

He squeezed her hand back, before pulling her into a hug abruptly.

"Thank you."

And he was gone.

-o-

"Life's a cycle of death and rebirth, huh?"

"Shush."

"Why didn't you tell him?"

"Tell him what?"

"Who you are. And you even went through the trouble of disguising yourself with the Angel Player."

She smiled. "Because I'm his sister."

-o-

He wasn't sure why he did it.

A moment ago, he was recounting biology theories in his head; and he barely registered the presence of a girl with stark white hair, face hidden under a hat, leaning against the wall.

Then his ears picked up the humming of a strangely familiar song.

It wasn't a song he has ever heard before.

But it pricked at him.

Somewhere, deep within him, was tugged.

And the next thing he knew, he had reached out for her, and was staring into a set of surprised bright gold eyes.

-o-

A/N: Hmm...should I say I was inspired? I rather liked the concept of Angel Beats. The way it was presented, however...left a lot to be desired. From the start to end. The last episode, despite the way it tries to make it touching, was rather odd and...Well, I won't put my complaints here. It could get rather extensive.

But anyway...yes. The lyrics quoted above is "Dear..." by Kana Nishino, by the way. A song I find fitting for this fic, hm? I rather liked the tune.

Title of the fic was cliche, but I couldn't figure one that would work. Oh well. My take on how Otonashi moved on. I just can't see him leaving the world abruptly, even if Kanade goes, especially with his need-to-help-people-thingy. Haven't written for a while, either, so let's hope the fic wasn't odd or weird, and that you've enjoyed it.

Reviews, flames, critiques, etc; all welcome. Fire away.