A Time of Gray

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

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Turning around at that moment was the single most difficult thing that she'd ever done.

There was no choice, this was how it had to be, but every part of her being tried to prevent it, to think of a way to avoid it, or at least postpone it for just another minute.

Of course, she also knew that this was the way it had to be, that there could be no avoiding it. So, she knew that the other girl wouldn't try to stop her. Even though a weak part of her prayed that she would try, so that she might be able to put it off for just a little bit longer.

But that was not possible. This was the way it had to be.

She'd already said farewell to the rest of them, trying to quell her rising tears, but up until this moment she hadn't thought of leaving her. Of saying goodbye to her. Of being separated from the girl she loved.

She hadn't dared think of it.

Her heart broke as she turned her back on her, and she felt as if her knees would buckle if she didn't focus on taking another step. So she focused, and she tried not to think of the reason for the tears burning their way down her cheeks.

Even so, images of them together still flashed through her head.

She said goodbye with her back still turned, not daring to look at her, lest her resolve crumble. She couldn't afford to be weak.

"I'll wait for you," the voice was barely audible, and she couldn't help but wonder if it was just her imagination playing one final trick on her.

She let go.

And as the world crashed back into focus around her, she crumbled to the floor of the time travelers' headquarters.

She had always known that this time would come, and she'd always dreaded it. The time when it was decided that her mission was complete, and that it was time for her to return.

People gathered around her, but she couldn't make out what they were saying, their faces all a gray blur.

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Time passed, until she was finally allowed some time of her own.

She greeted old friends, but they too seemed to consist of that endless gray color. There was nothing wrong with her eyes, and she could still see the many colors surrounding her, it was simply as if the colors didn't matter anymore.

Unable to stand another moment of meeting these gray, precious friends – whom she couldn't help but resent simply because they too were a part of what had separated the two of them – she began to walk the streets.

She walked for what seemed like an eternity, her tears having long since dried up.

Something caught her eye, and soon she recognized where she was headed. She blinked, surprised at the apparent destination.

She was moving towards the place from where she'd disappeared.

The place where she'd left her.

Guilt flooded her, drowning her, as she made her way around the final corner.

And then, it all stopped.

For a moment, the world stood still. For a moment, she simply stared.

Then, the color-filled girl in front of her turned around, and met her eyes.

Tears burned their way down Mikuru's cheeks as Yuki opened her mouth.

"I said, 'I'll wait for you'."

XXX

A/n: "Time waits for no-one, but love waits forever." – Unknown. This story was inspired by the summary of 'Snow Angels' by SiFi270.