Ten years…

Had it really been that long?

I had been fifteen when I left Japan, and I would be returning twenty-five…

"Syuusuke, how would you think of me now?" I asked rhetorically, facing the stadium where I had experienced my loss. It was where it all started. Where I met the ones I fell in love with. Where I'd crashed and burned. I couldn't help but laugh out loud, bitter sweetly. Maybe history would repeat itself, and I would meet the two men – once teenagers – here, sobbing my heart out, confessing that I hated myself.

I sat down on a bench nearby that tree I'd collapsed onto, eleven, twelve years ago, contemplating my life. Away from Japan, I'd tried to find a life that I could live. In France, I managed to find a woman to love – as much as I could, though my heart was already ripped into two.

… Well, not like how I should've loved her.

I couldn't help but think myself idiotic. I tried running away from my problems – only for my problems to run after me. The only thing I've managed to resolve was my relationship with my former teammates. Rikkai, they truly are loyal. I smiled. Ah, dear Genichiro and Renji, Akaya and Marui and Niou- Yagyuu and Jackal too, the ever-present mediators of the group.

As I closed my eyes, to happily – and peacefully – return to my memories within Rikkai, I failed to notice a presence beside me, moving to sit on the bend. It was only when something touched my cheek that I snapped back to attention.

"Merde!" Shit! I swore, flinching from the iciness of the object. "Qu'est-ce que vous faisez?" What are you doing? I asked, unaware that I was yelling in French. "Qui êtes-vous?" Who are you?

The blond blinked, his hand still stretched out, holding onto a bottle covered with cold condensation. "Is- is it you, Seiichi?"

I blinked as well. Who…? Wait-

"Kuranosuke?" I asked hesitantly.

His eyes widened – and suddenly I felt at… Ease. "Seiichi! W-why are you here?" He looked ecstatic, beaming at me. "You should've called- well, informed me- and Fuji." He said Syu- Fuji's name with slight disgust.

"I- I wasn't expecting to see you while I was in Japan." I admitted, ashamed. I looked away from him, to stare at the ground. I wondered if I should've just stayed in France, to live the life of a famous divorced artist, getting by on thousands of Euros and instant cup noodles.

Kuranosuke looked shocked. "… But- but… Fuji and I missed you!" He grabbed my hands with one of his own, dropping the water bottle onto the ground. "We love you- and we missed you!" I didn't miss the 'we love you'.

"… You don't hate me?" I whispered in dread. "Truly?"

He smiled at me, and he lifted his free hand to caress my cheek, making me shiver from the feelings he'd evoked – something I'd never felt with Karina. I didn't notice my lips parting, and I didn't notice the way his eyes flickered from my eyes to my lips.

He leaned forward to kiss me.

My eyes widened.

At first, I tried to fight him off, surprised by the sudden show of affection. But soon enough, his fingers, ever so gently tangling into my hair; his lips, soft, and petal-like; and his eyes, sharp and demanding, began to win me over, overwhelming me with its intensity-

"Shiraishi-sensei! What are you doing?"

I suddenly pushed him away, my eyes wide, and my breathing heavy.

Kuranosuke smiled at me, before turning to the teenager that had spoken. "Ah, Hikaru-kun… Why don't you just go with the rest of the group? I'll meet with the rest of you later."

The dark-haired teenager – maybe a second-year, and a regular of the Seigaku Tennis Club, judging from the blue-red-and-white shirt he was sporting – smirked. "Oh, and let you cheat on your boyfriend? Wait 'til Fuji-sensei hears about this!" He ran off, laughing all the way.

But I wasn't laughing.

"… Boyfriend?"

Kuranosuke frowned. "… Not really."

"How can you say that? Is S- Fuji your boyfriend or not?" I asked, suddenly feeling betrayed. Did they move on without me, leaving me stranded?

He pressed his lips against my forehead, making me relax involuntarily. "Now that you're here, he's not."

I was astonished. "You can't just do that!" I suddenly felt like crying, as my eyes prickled with tears, and my bottom lip jerked minutely. "You just- you just can't!" I pushed him away from me again, and I stood up, making a motion to walk away from him.

He grabbed my arm, pulling me against his chest. I gasped, disorientated when my vision was all black, his arms and chest causing all light to be blocked out.

"Seiichi- don't leave. Not again," he whispered into my ear. "Please."

I shivered again. "B-but…" Syuusuke. Syuusuke. Syuusuke.

I struggled to get out of his grip. I couldn't break them apart – they'd moved on, and they didn't need me in their lives. I could hear the wind blowing around us, and I instinctively buried my face against his chest – though it was the exact opposite of what I wanted to achieve – when I felt the wind batter my moist eyes, stinging and painful.

My heart ached; I was so close to one half of my heart, yet I needed to stay away from it. It was for Kuranosuke, and Syuusuke. I needed to let them go.


"Seiichi!" He pleaded.

I could feel the tears well out.

They trickled out of my eyes, and down my cheeks, dampening my hair, skin and eyelashes. I looked up at him through a curtain of curls, feeling pathetic. I could feel my tears running down the underside of my chin, and down the shape of my jaw, following the contours of my throat and into the hollows of my collarbones. How many tears have I shed over these years? How much had I yearned for them?

"Kura- I can't let myself be so selfish," I murmured, my voice thick, and my throat strangely clogged. "Let me go-"

I heard footsteps behind Kuranosuke, and I stilled.

"Saa, Shiraishi… Hikaru told me you were apparently cheating on me. I don't see anyone though – was he lying?"

I sobbed, clasping my lips with a hand. Syuusuke!

"… Fuji. Come over here," I heard Kuranosuke say.

No. No! No!

I broke away from Kuranosuke's arms, and I stumbled back, still trying to restrain my tears. I had to go- I turned around, about to run off-

A slender hand clasped mine, and I could feel the nostalgic warmth that radiated from it.

"Is that you, Seiichi?" I heard an incredulous voice ask. "Seiichi?"

I stayed silent, hiding my face under my hair. I couldn't face him – the one I loved first.

"Seiichi." His hand touched my chin, and lifted my head up.

And I met vivid blue eyes.

I inhaled in shock. His eyes – not even the blurriness of tears could take away from his burning eyes, and I suddenly felt- felt so… Complete.

"You didn't wait for me." I whispered.


Note: … And that's it! :D This is the REAL end of triumvirate: shaken! I hope that you enjoyed, and if you want me to really, really, really, really, really 'complete' this epilogue, message me, and I'll send you the ending's- er, ending!

... And on a late note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY SEIICHI! ;P