This is a short story I wrote in the middle of September last year, after watching the ending of Angel Beats!. The ending touched me a lot, and I decided to write this. Since then, it's been lying on my computer. I originally planned to write a longer ending, including some M-rated bonding between the two characters, but looking at it now, I find it's fine as it is, and I don't want to ruin the mood of the story with some cheap lemon. So, here is my take on the ending to one of the last season's best anime series :-)

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Angel Beats!

Beyond the Afterlife, an Angel Beats! fanfic

The sun shone brightly above my head, not a single cloud in the sky to swallow the blazing orb, allowing it to glare down at the busy city streets with its warm gaze. People and cars were milling about, doing their daily business with the usual haste of a sprawling metropolis. I took my time, slowly walking down the street. I still had twenty minutes until my classes begun and the college was only a couple of minutes away, so I was in no hurry to get there. I enjoyed the warm spring weather, and watched the other people all around me. With so much happening in the area surrounding me, you'll forgive me for not at first noticing the short girl standing nearby, leaning against a wall. I only noticed when I passed her.

She was wearing a white blouse and a small, blue jacket, and a white skirt played calmly around her knees, caught by the soft breeze. I couldn't see her face, due to the hat and her downcast stature, but I could tell that her hair was short and silvery from under the brim of the hat. It seemed to gleam and shine in the warm sunlight. She caught my attention because, compared to all the people around us, she was the only one who did not seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere. She seemed content with simply standing there, leaning against the wall behind her.

As I passed by where she was standing, I realized that she was humming a tune, very softly. It was quiet and soft, almost melancholic in tone, and it enticed me. For some reason I couldn't quite grasp, it seemed familiar to me, even though I was fairly sure that I hadn't heard it before. At least I could not remember having heard it. Yet, the tune now compelled me. I stopped, and turned back towards where the girl was standing, to find that she was now walking away in the opposite direction.

I didn't really know what I was doing, yet I didn't hesitate for more than a moment. School was forgotten as I walked after her, my pace quickly increasing to a light jog in order to catch up to her. My hand reached out, and my fingers grasped her shoulder. I felt her startle against my light grip, and she spun around. A pair of beautiful golden eyes, wide with surprise, stared up at me. Only now did I realize that I was at least a head taller than her. I looked down at her cute face, at an awkward loss for words.

What was I doing? I had no idea what I was going to do at this point. Going after the girl had been almost an instinct, and I had not planned for what I was going to do when I reached her. I simply stood before her, dumb-founded, my brain desperately trying to scramble some words I could say to explain myself. But nothing seemed to spring to mind. I could do nothing but just standing there, gaping slightly. People walked past us, oblivious to the strange meeting that was taking place in the middle of the sidewalk.

Her golden eyes stared at me, scrutinizing me. If I were to guess, I'd say she was probably trying to decide if I was crazy or not, having just run up to someone I didn't even know just to stare dumbly at them. I couldn't really blame her, either. I had no real idea why I had done exactly that, and I was already regretting my actions. I was about to stutter an apology and hurry away from the embarrassing situation, when I noticed a change in her expression.

Her golden eyes were narrowed, and she stared at me intently. Her head tilted slightly to the side, and I felt as if her eyes were staring directly into my soul. Then her golden orbs widened in surprise, and she opened her mouth to speak. "Yu-Yuzuru?" Her voice was light, and tainted with a tremble that I could distinguish quite clearly. I stared at her as she spoke the name. It wasn't the name I had been given at birth, but for some reason it felt familiar. It felt right.

Without warning, memories I never even knew I possessed began flooding back to me. I gasped as I suddenly remembered everything. I remembered having died in my previous life. I remembered the afterlife. Meeting the Afterlife Battlefront, all the missions we had performed, everything we had done to save ourselves. I remembered the moment when we had realized that everything we had done up to that point was wrong, and that there was only one way to leave the afterlife. I remembered how much it hurt when she had left, leaving me alone in the afterlife, crying her name to the heavens.

I stared at the girl standing before my eyes, seeing her now in a completely new light. I knew who she was. She smiled back at me, her beautiful golden eyes moistening. "Do you remember me now?" Her voice was trembling, but she was doing her best to conceal it. I didn't answer; I just took one step forward and embraced her. I placed my arms around her and pulled her smaller body close to mine. I felt her hugging me back, her cheek resting against my chest. "Kanade," I whispered, and I felt her hug me tighter. "Yes," she breathed, trembling in my embrace. She was crying, I realized.

How many years hadn't we lived, without ever knowing of each other's existence? How long had these memories been locked away somewhere inside us, only coming to the front if we by some chance met? As I held her close, I felt like the whole world just fell into place around me. Everything felt right. We were finally together again, in another life. Smiling happily, I held her tighter, and I could feel her wet cheek against my shirt. "We're together now, Kanade," I whispered. Her only response was a happy nod, as she looked up at me with tear-stained cheeks. Everything would be alright now.

In the middle of the pavement, with busy souls walking all around us on the way to their next destination, we held each other. We had both done the almost impossible. Two souls had found their destined partner and become one, and we could ask for nothing more. We only hoped all our friends from the afterlife had been so lucky in this life.

The End.

Well, did you guys like it? If you did, please rate and review! :-)