Don't Leave

UltimateEnding

Takizawa's life is finally in order and he knows the first person he has to see. But now that he is back, all he can think is what will happen if he has to leave again.

After Takizawa left it'd been exactly two years and seven months before he reappeared again. Saki still had no idea where he'd spent those two years, but did it really matter anymore? He was back and Saki prayed he wouldn't disappear again—almost begged to some power he'd take this chance and stay.

When he had left Saki was overcome with a loss she hadn't experienced since her parents death. Everything seemed dull and she had to drag herself everywhere, forcing herself awake. Just to hear his voice once could've made a difference, but when he left his existence went with him. Nobody had a clue where he'd gone. Maybe he really was his mother's son when it came to a vanishing act (and nobody had seen her either—but she no longer mattered; she made her choice to leave him behind.) Saki didn't understand why or how anyone could hate him. Takizawa had brought so much to her life, more than she could repay him for, and she would never leave him. Not if the world depended on it. She needed him.

Needed him more than what…? More than a simple picture. More than their short text conversations. Saki wanted him here right in front of her, in the flesh, alive and happy.

But he was here now. To stay?

"Saki, what are thinking about?"

Drifting out of her thoughts, sitting on the couch beside her was Takizawa. She felt his body radiate from his presence. What had she been thinking about again?

Everything. Everything that's really happened because of him.

It took a few seconds to realize he was still staring at her. "Nothing really important," she bit the inside of her cheek hoping he wouldn't ask further. Luckily enough he didn't.

"It's raining harder than before," he stated.

Thunder rumbled through the dark, folding clouds as rain pattered against the roof.

Saki glanced to her side out the nearby window. The rain pelted the glass with a small 'ting' drawing their attention to the window. Large raindrops accumulated towards the top, falling down the pane.

As Saki thought about the never-ending rainfall the past few days, it made sense. Japan needed this cleansing more than anything. After all the destruction caused from the missiles, the country had finally finished restoring most of the damage, now it was the weather's job to restore Japan's spirit again. However, the other reason she loved the weather was simple. It kept Takizawa here with her inside her apartment.

Months ago Saki had finally enough money for a small apartment of her own. It was exactly what she'd wanted after graduation.

"So," Takizawa looked at Saki, "did you miss me?" He chuckled like there was some hidden joke in his words.

Was he really here asking her this? She mused.

"I wouldn't be so egotistical to say I missed you. Rather it was more of…"

Takizawa grinned, challenging, "An empty spot in your heart?"

"No…more like…"

"A sinking stomach, a breath caught in the back of your throat," he moved a little closer to her with each word.

Her eyes fluttered wide and her cheeks flushed. "N-not really."

Closer. "Or maybe even—"

"Relief," she sputtered, pushing hair behind her ear, feeling a blush across her cheeks. Thank goodness the apartment lights were dim.

His heart stopped and his confidence shrunk to confusion. "What?"

Saki's chest lifted and she had to laugh. If he wanted to tease her, she would indulge in teasing him back. To help him save face Saki smiled. "Relief that my life isn't in jeopardy anymore."

Takizawa still on edge needed to find control of the situation again, but the glint in her eyes wouldn't allow him. "And what does that mean?"

"It means that when you left for the second time I could have peace of mind knowing I was safe. Nothing bad would happen." The smile didn't leave her lips, but there was still a tug on her heart. My own ground zero could heal, she thought to herself while looking at the curve of his jaw.

"Nothing bad, huh?" Takizawa sighed, knowing he wouldn't get the answer he'd hoped for. He sunk further into the couch, letting himself relax. Relaxing was one thing he enjoyed the most now that his past was sorted. After all that had happened the past few years, he was glad he didn't have to worry anymore. And apparently he didn't have to worry about Saki either. Suddenly his stomach plunged. She did great once he left. She had a job that made her happy now, and she had all her friends—ones that would never leave her. Unlike him.

He hated when he had to leave that second time, when everything was finally starting to fall into place. But it was important business that couldn't be helped; the last mission for his personal gain. Now Takizawa just had to figure out if everything would stay that way. If this were to get out of control again, he'd have to leave. Part of him didn't mind if that happened though because maybe it would be better for everyone if he stayed away in the first place. Then in the back of his mind he reminded himself of everyone he'd met when he was around Saki and the personal ties he built. Just the fact he'd made a promise to Saki, he had no choice but to come back. He wouldn't break promises, not with her.

The vivid memory of standing outside the mansion he remembered the sun beating down on them and Saki's hands in his. A small piece of hair lingered across her cheek and he felt the notion to push in away, but he didn't. Instead he slipped both hands away and reached into his pocket.

The cell phone.

The phone had caused him so many problems during his journey in America and Japan. With that phone, he placed it in her palm saying, "Sure I'll come back." There's just one last thing…

He remembered the look on her face. She stared back so stern trying to cover her hurt but he knew he'd return. Takizawa cared too much not to. There was just something about her, something he hadn't figured out yet. Why did he like being around her…? Saki made sense. She was the girl who didn't mind going along with whatever life threw at her. Especially the first time they met—they just went with it. Be it fate or something totally different. Whatever it was, he was grateful for everything in his life. Even the sad things like his mom leaving. Because maybe if she'd never left him, he never would have grown up the way he did to get into such a mess. He'd never stop to talk to that taxi driver and he never would have met Saki.

Destiny or not, he was glad to be sitting next to her right now.

Takizawa returned his focus, Saki's hands folded on her lap. Ever since he got back she seemed quieter than what he remembered. Something didn't feel right. It could've been the weather, but he couldn't help but think…"Are you mad?" He almost didn't realize he said it aloud.

Jumping out of her thought, she mumbled an apology. "Why would I?"

"Because…" Takizawa sighed and his shoulders softened. "I don't know. Because I left. I never told you where I was going or what I was doing or when—if I'd ever be back."

Saki smiled gently because that's what she always did, she stayed strong. "Well I'm not mad." She played with her fingers. "But I guess I did miss you. When you left I didn't quite know what to do with myself anymore. There was an excitement in my life that disappeared it seemed and everyone noticed right away. For a while, and please don't blame yourself…but after awhile I didn't know what to do.

"I was a strong and independent girl just moping around, staying in bed past noon and not taking good care of myself. There was a realization that I was out of college; my life should be going somewhere. But it never did. When I finally considered how much my sister had to take care of me, I left. I lived with my friends, I knew they wouldn't mind if I stayed—at least until I got my own place. Thankfully they helped me and soon after I found this apartment that is when I got a job offer."

She paused to smooth out a fringe in her shirt not wanting to look at Takizawa. The lights flickered following the sound of rolling thunder, then a small clicking noise. Saki casted her eyes back out the window and saw both their reflections on the glass. She saw him looking down at the floor.

"I'm sorry," the words fell out of his mouth, nothing more could be said. He tried to smile to show her everything was okay, but the corners of his mouth were weak. It was all his fault—why'd he have to show up that day in America? His vision dropped down, barely seeing Saki's face.

But Saki smiled tightly with encouragement. "I said don't blame yourself."

He looked back at her. "The only thing I blame on myself is every time I hurt you. Even if I wasn't here. I never should've gotten you involved."

"Stop." A lump caught in her throat. "It's my life, not yours."

Takizawa stayed silent in thought for a moment and finally felt himself smiling. He always liked when she asserted herself. Catching her eyes, his heart lifted again. Through the illumination of the lamp, the small outline of Saki's lips curved with grace. Saki asserted their last kiss at the mansion. She asserted her feelings for him and she even asserted that look in her eyes whenever she had to remind him he wasn't alone. To that look he'd never be able to say no.

Those are the eyes she wore in this moment. She huffed. "Just please understand. I don't need you to worry, okay?"

Takizawa's smile only grew despite the seriousness of her tone.

But that was an answer enough for her.

He cleared his throat. "Even though you could handle all of that, it doesn't prove that you never missed me." He nudged her trying to lighten up the atmosphere.

Saki half-smiled, rolling her eyes. "Don't avoid the subject."

"Oh, I'm not," he joked, leaning his body towards her more. She really was a magnetic pole.

She curled her fingers in her palm as her face warmed up. "Stop doing that."

Takizawa didn't show any sign he was going to move. "Doing what?" He still moved closer, not letting this moment slip through his fingers.

Her smile fell slowly; her cheeks completely flush now. Shoulders tightening, she turned her body away slightly to add the distance he had closed.

Just barely, Takizawa's grin turned gentle. He loved seeing reactions out of her, they were always great. "I promise I wouldn't do anything you wouldn't like. But sometimes," he paused, getting quieter, "you're easy to joke around with."

Saki's breath hitched and her heart jumped out of her chest.

His eyes seemed to be laughing at her.

"You jerk!" She laughed, slugging in him the arm.

He shortly joined in with her contagious laughter. Despite the short time they knew each other, it felt like they really were longtime friends.

A flash of lightening spread across the dark sky. Rain continued to blur the view from the window. The fog was getting too thick.

Takizawa felt his life was too thick, but this time he swore he'd never leave that smiling face. But he couldn't help but think of what would happen if he did leave? It was a reasonable question to fear, wasn't it?

Saki noticed the mood change when he frowned for a moment. "Now it's my turn to ask what's wrong?"

Takizawa looked up, but noticed her lip was pushed out more than usual or was it really always like that? Caught in her stare, he became more aware. "Everything that's happened with the numbers is in the past. None of it matters and everything is completely done. I can't imagine leaving all this behind again. But what happens if I do…" he trailed off.

"What would you say if I said you can't?" Her fist tightened, giving him the longest stare seeing something written across his features. "Because you have to be here when I wake up. You're always somewhere else—so you just can't because I won't let-"

Without thinking, he closed the space between them and hugged her. One hand cradling the back of her head, the other on her lower back. He needed her close even if he didn't deserve her.

Saki pushed past the shock and slowly slid her arms around him in his embrace, closing her eyes as to stay like this forever.

Those two years didn't matter anymore to either of them.

Takizawa closed some space around her neck and whispered, "I'll be here." It's a promise.

She smiled into his shoulder.

Updated A/N: So I originally posted this one-shot in 2011 and recently watch Eden of the East again and thought about this fic. Now it's 2016 and I've updated some of it since there were A LOT of typos and grammar mistakes before ;P I hope you enjoyed reading!