Author's Note: So here it is. The final chapter in this small novella based off a wonderful shonen-ai manga. I'm sorry this took so long, especially when it was finished within a week after reading the manga, but as you know, things happen and make updating difficult. Thank you all who stuck with me through to the end, and even more thank yous go out to those of you who reviewed. You make me so happy to write. I hope to see you all again in other fics (both current and future), many loves and hugs.
Warning: See first chapter
Chapter Word Count: ~1,511
Neku let the arrows fly at archery practice, enjoying the relaxing feeling it gave him in the almost mindless effort muscle memory gave. Kiryu sat in the student body, waiting for the time he and his class mates were called upon. Neku shot almost a bull's eye and all the students clapped. Neku stepped down and he was congratulated by the overseeing teacher.
"First years to the front! Begin!" Neku watched as Kiryu seemed to numbly step forward. At first he didn't even draw the bow and the teacher questioned him, wondering what was going on. Kiryu shook his head, apologized and began.
Neku's eyes widened as he caught Kiryu messing up in his shots. A premature release? The arrow was off its mark and the students all questioned what was happening. Someone commented on it being a bothersome habit to form, but the teacher and Neku were in agreement. "It seems he can't concentrate."
The teacher spoke louder, "Focus!"
Kiryu only seemed to deflate somewhat, and drawing the bow this time he held it too long, worrying Neku. This time he's holding the draw for too long. No good. That sort of inconsistency builds frustration. He won't hit the target. And as Neku predicted, the arrow missed its mark.
"One must possess presence of mind at all times, even in the face of adversity." The teacher seemed to be muttering to himself, not caring Neku could over hear him. "If you can't, this is proof that you haven't enough practice."
Neku continued to watch Kiryu, almost wringing his hands together in anxiety. The bow is a mirror that reflects the archer's heart.
The Last Day
Neku sat in the changing room, a huge pair of purple headphones resting on his head while tunes played on an extremely low volume. The chatter of the archery club members was slightly drowned out. Neku watched Kiryu as he moved about slowly, as if dreading the end of the day. Neku turned off his mp3 player and lowered his headphones around his neck.
"Who's in charge of the key today?"
"Ah, yes, I am." It was a second year student, who handed over the key to Neku when asked. Kiryu continued finishing up and tried to ignore the way other students began gossiping.
"Calling him out like that, I wonder what it's about?"
"Wouldn't it be a scolding? That guy had a hard time today."
Neku pointed at the two, eyes narrowed. "You guys over there, don't read too much into it."
The gossipers quickly agreed and hurried to leave. Neku glanced over at Kiryu, who hadn't looked his way once since the club began, and felt the stirrings of a frown begin.
Neku waved the rest of the students off, giving them a "good job!" and a smile. As soon as everyone was out of hearing range, the smile disappeared and Neku leaned against the open window nearby. "What happened?"
Kiryu was silent.
"Today… you were all over the place."
"Even if you apologize…" Neku pulled away from the window, looking at Kiryu over his shoulder. Actually, isn't this just like lecturing a kouhai? "I'm worried." Perhaps this… this could be the breakup already… He glanced at the clock, surprised it was almost five in the evening already. That first date…
Even his nothing of a reply was abrupt… It's possible. Neku felt his chest tighten as those words from the beginning of the week replayed for him. "'At the end of the week, he'll tell his partner exactly this:
"'I couldn't fall in love with you. Let's break up.'" Neku's gaze lowered and he wrapped his arms around himself almost in comfort. "'I couldn't fall in love with you.'" So harsh…
"…I should be all over the place." Kiryu finally turned towards him, hands in his pockets. "Neku-san was as expected. A paragon of practice. Focusing the mind on only the bow, a steady shot like always." Kiryu's eyes scrunched slightly, as if trying to stop himself from tearing up, or to hide how frustrated he really felt. "But I, I wasn't thinking about archery at all. My head was full of other things."
Neku tilted his head to the side slightly. "That person… did something happen… with Mitsuki?"
Kiryu's head shot up and he stared at Neku in wonderment. "Why do you bring up Mitsuki here?"
"Why, you ask…"
"When did I ever think about Mitsuki when I'm with Neku-san?" Kiryu stepped towards him, before adverting his eyes. Neku watched him in silence as Kiryu searched for the words. "Why don't we leave this place? I have something I want to tell Neku-san properly."
The Last Day
The two were back at the park, near the spot where Kiryu found Neku Wednesday evening. Neku's hands were gripping the railing, and he had to remind himself to breathe occasionally as he took in the sight. He was trying to ignore the way Kiryu stood beside him, but hadn't said a word since they left the school campus.
Is he always so formal whenever he breaks up..? Neku wondered, closing his eyes in thought. One week ago today, I still didn't know about this guy's serious points or hopeless points.
Neku jumped back from the railing, eyes snapping to Kiryu in shock. "I-I was distracted." The comment brought a smile to Kiryu's face and a small laugh.
"Tomorrow…" Kiryu began, having to clear his throat and glance away briefly. "From tomorrow on I still want to go home together with Neku-san, go out occasionally, just once in a while is fine, I—"
"That," Kiryu's face dropped at Neku's next words, "is troublesome." Kiryu's hands clenched, and he tried to hide the disappointment in his face. "Have that sort of compromise with you? I'm not willing."
"…Then yesterday…" Kiryu clenched his eyes shut and turned away, recalling Neku tearing the movie pass into pieces, "also had that meaning…"
It ends today.
The one week.
"What time?" Neku's voice was barely audible. "This what time does it end? The one week with you."
Kiryu managed to shrug, watching Neku fumble with his cell phone. "…whatever Neku-san decides is fine."
The time read 5:59pm. "Then, since it's a good time, how about 6 o'clock?" Neku continued to stare at his phone's home screen, following the time. "'I couldn't fall in love with you. Let's break up.'" The clock switched to 6pm and Neku allowed a small smile to cross his face. "Well, I'm glad you didn't say that. Go out with me, Kiryu."
Kiryu always reeled back in shock. EH? "Just—just wait a minute…"
"Because I love Kiryu. When next week comes around, I don't want to return to being merely senpai and kouhai."
Kiryu couldn't help the small blush on his face. "That's so cunning, Neku-san."
"Cunning? If I behave properly until Monday, those people waiting would put me at a disadvantage." Neku stepped closer. "I don't want some other person to be chosen by you. And none of this 'weekly lover' game of make believe. I want to go out with Kiryu properly." Neku glanced away, "I'll wait for your reply, but, if you go out with someone else before giving me an answer…"
Kiryu pulled Neku into a hug, burying his face in Neku's neck, breathing in deeply. "Really cunning… I have something I've wanted to say so much, but the whole time I never could say it."
Neku hesitantly wrapped his arms around Kiryu as well, "What is it?"
"I love you. Neku-san. I love you."
Neku's face lit up brightly. "Se-serious?"
"Listen okay? I said it."
"More than Mitsuki?"
Kiryu pulled back, completely lost on why Neku would ask. It took a bit for him to realize all the small comments he had made, and the way he acted around Mitsuki with Neku nearby had Neku confused. Kiryu shook his head and sighed, "Again… just how is Mitsuki related to this?" He cupped Neku's cheek, placing his forehead against Neku's. "Really, Neku-san is too thick-headed." He smiled softly. "I love you, more than Mitsuki, more than anyone."
"Like that…" Neku met his eyes almost disbelieving. "How can such a happy turn of events… all along, I…" Kiryu went to lean in, and lightly brushed his lips against Neku's. Neku pulled away and with a blush said, "I'm really happy."
"Me too," Kiryu tugged him into a hug, and whispered into his ear, "call me by my given name."
A Week To Make You Love Me
A cell phone rings on a bedside table, the tone loud enough to rouse Neku from bed. With messy hair and watery eyes he clicks the appropriate buttons on the phone and smiles.
To: Neku Sakuraba
Message: I may have woken you up with this mail. If you don't get ready quick, you'll be late. –END-
A Week To Make You Love Me
Yoshiya stood in the train station, reading the reply message with a smile on his face.
Message: You woke me up. Thanks. –END-
Neku stands beside him with a sleepy smile. "Good morning," Yoshiya greets.
Once more, walking with you, a new week begins.