Rating: K

Disclaimer: Kamatani Yuhki-sensei owns Nabari no Ou and its characters; I solely us them for writing funtimes.

Author's Note: This kind of happened, when someone asked me what it felt like to lose my closest friend. His name was Jason, for the record, and my reaction was much more hysterical.

Soft, nimble fingers traced the edges of a vacant rocking chair absentmindedly — habitually — before swooping low. With trained care, did pale hands clutch an unfinished beige scarf and bring the wool fabric up to his face; he nuzzled into it whilst breathing in the vague, dissipating scent: vanilla. Precariously situating himself on the empty steps of the porch — a seat he'd claimed many weeks prior with percolative enthusiasm — Miharu gazed forlornly at the clear, azure sky hung above.

For a while, he had thought — hoped, even — that maybe, just maybe, Yoite could have eluded the imminent finality that persecuted him daily. That the fact the latter had begun to share his rare awkward smiles with he, Tobari and everyone else was a sign of ailment. That perhaps, the one boy he had come to acknowledge as a like-minded friend, was not, in fact, wasting away before their eyes. Regardless of all the premature laments and condolences their friends constantly choked out during mourning fits. Despite that he was an affirmed witness of how Yoite was withering in the very chair that sat, motionless, to his right. Miharu had, not once, had his resolve nor faith waver in the formers prospect.

However, as he knew all too perfectly well; all that must live must die.

As a faint gust of wind languidly brushed against the skin of his still figure, jade eyes dilated before his eyelids veiled them once more. It absolutely had to be a sign that he had gone completely irrational and insane - and yet, as a quaint sob shook Miharu to his very core - he managed to crack a smile. He managed, at that singular moment, thoroughly convinced that Yoite's presence still lingered, to smile so faintly; genuinely - even if it expressed a happiness that had grown so novel to him. Even if the emotion itself had never been received with great fondness by him to begin with, he'd decided to embrace it as a gift; accommodated by the disturbing paradoxical emotional response of chagrin.

Miharu's only regret was having made the promise that he would perservere and face life with a smile, to Yoite; even though it had become nonexistent following his ultimate inhalation.