L'arc~en~Ciel II:
"The Fourth Avenue Cafe"
by Ekai Ungson

The L'Arc~en~Ciel series: A series of vignette-ish EriolxTomoyos featuring titles of L'Arc songs. Fluffy. You have been warned.

DISCLAIMER: Characters expressed herein are property of Card Captor Sakura by CLAMP.

DISCLAIMER2: The song "The Fourth Avenue Cafe" is property of L'Arc~en~Ciel and their recording companies. It was featured as the ending theme in five episodes of Ruruoni Kenshin. ^-^

Dedicated to Candy who loves Laruku about as much as I love CCS. ^-^

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She sits quiet in a cafe in Fourth Avenue, sipping on an already-cold coffee, watching insilence as the cars go by, waiting.

She waits for a man she knew would be rounding the corner soon, dark hair glinting, edges of dark suit flying, running to her. She could see him now, in her mind's eye, as if he were really there.

And her heart ached because he was so utterly beautiful there, in her imagination.

So she sits, waiting for some unsettling answers she may not like, but would be forced to face.

Waiting for a chance that would never come.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He runs.

He wishes he didn't have to run, but he was awfully late. He couldn't remember if he had planned to be late or not.

He was-- he hated to admit-- scared to see her. He knew she'd be there already, siiting in the cafe, ridiculously, impeccably on time, ridiculously, exquisitely beautiful.

Did he really have to do this?

He wanted to delay the inevitable. He wanted time to stop or slow down.

Better yet, he'd like to reverse time itself.

To rectify his mistakes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Footsteps announced his arrival.

But she'd known he was there long before the sound reached her ears. She knew, because whether she saw him or not she could feel him around her with an almost psychic intensity.

He'd told her once that he saw a lot of people when he closed his eyes. But it was her he felt more, the way she felt him.

Did he still know that now?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He saw the sorrow embedded in her violet eyes. He saw it there but he knew it was there long before he looked up. He knew because he could feel her.

Most of the time he was glad of this, because in this she could hide nothing from him. But now, now it hurt him more than anything, hurt him so much, so much to see her, feel her hurting, and know that the source of her pain was no one else but him.

He sat down.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

".... How are you?"

She looked up at him. "Would you believe, I'm fine?"

A trace of a smirk crossed his features. "No."

She smiled sadly. "I didn't think so. And you?"

"Same as you, I guess."

She looked at him. "You're too weak."

He looked at her. "You're weak, too."

"... We're weak without each other," she said. Not a plea, but a flat statement.

"And yet we choose to be apart," he finished.

"Must it always be like this... Eriol?" she asked. She said his name and her voice quivered. "Must we always begin and end in this vicious cycle? Must we always feel so much doubt-- so less trust?" A tear fell, but she didn't notice. "Please. Tell me."

"I don't know," he replied. "Tomoyo, I honestly don't know."

Silence followed the softly spoken words.

"What do we do now, then?" she asked.

"We... need time away," he said gently. "We need time to recover from the pain."

She began to sob. "... Must you end it this way?"

He reached out and stroked her face. "I'm not ending anything. I... only need to be away."

She looked at him with violet eyes filled with pain.

He stood up and looked at her with eyes that mirrored her sorrow. "I will return when you have learned how to trust."

"I will see you again when you have learned not to doubt," she answered.

Silence.

And with that promise, he walked away.

She was left. sitting alone, quiet as her tears fell on the glass table's surface, as the cars go by... a cafe in Fourth Avenue.

/Sayonara, ai wo kureta ano hit o wa
Ano hitomi ni yurameiteita./

--End II: "The Fourth Avenue Cafe"