I own nothing, just in case that wasn't clear...

Kida POV

There's nothing sadder than falling out of love with someone.

No, wait - yes there is: it's realizing that you're falling out of love with someone. That moment when you look at their face and a smile doesn't automatically grow on yours, when their presence is thoroughly enjoyed but not necessary, when the touch of their fingers on your shoulder as you walk away doesn't make your heart pitter-patter, make your feet stop, make you turn around into their welcoming embrace. It's like realizing you're in a barrel that's a few feet from a waterfall. Knowing the waterfall is there doesn't make it go away, it just makes it more depressingly inevitable.

And they can tell; they can always tell. It's a little more distance, a slightly longer silence during phone calls that isn't a comfortable one. It hurts, to see someone drift away from you, just as it does to drift away from someone. And there's never anything you can do to stop it.

Falling out of love is more heartbreaking than a broken heart has ever been.

I wake up facing the back of your head, a constant reminder of human presence. A reminder that I'm far from loneliness because I have you. Still, I wonder, if it's not loneliness, why do I feel as though I'm missing something?

I lay there, like every morning, my eyes adjusting to the world, waiting for the blurs to fade away and for everything to make sense. A few blinks until the world is visible, and I stretch my arms as subtly as I can as to not awaken you. Your hair is closer to my face now because of my movement. I can smell it, and the scent is so familiar and close to me that I almost forget what it is. Lavender. Lavender and... and something else, but it doesn't really matter.

I want to touch your hair, brush my tired fingers through its short tangles and waves that accompany your sleep. It's close enough that I can, but I worry that if my cold fingers on your hair won't wake you, my breath on your neck will. So, I don't. The action seems foreign to me suddenly, and the idea of such a small motion of affection seems inappropriate right now. When did I start feeling uncomfortable around you?

You move, your arms readjusting themselves underneath the covers, as if the very thought of me touching you awoke you. I don't need to see your face to know when your eyes open; I recognize the muscle movements in your neck enough to imagine your face with eyes fluttering open. You roll your neck first, like very morning, and I see your naked arm reach out from under the thick comforter to the clock and pick it up. The familiar action makes me want to believe, for one flitting moment, that nothing could be wrong with "us" because I love you, and I love your every action. But something is still missing.

I can barely see the red, blinking lines on the digital clock because they're angled toward you and have a glare, but it looks to be around 7:00 am. Your shoulders sink before rising again to roll forward as best as they can when you lay horizontally. You elbow me ever so slightly in the stomach, and my "oof" is merely out of surprise, not pain.

You look over your bare shoulder at me and say - your words short and drowsy, the kind of words that want to go back to bed - "Ah, sorry."

Your words are gentle but impact me more than you know. It's the kind of apology you give a stranger in a grocery store when your cart bumps into theirs; it's not the kind for a lover. That tone should playful and light and certainly not polite. I don't want a polite love.

Still, a smile grasps my face, and I respond, to show you that nothing could be wrong, "No biggie!" I lean down to bite your soft neck skin goofily for a second before rolling away from you, doing my best not to disrupt the blankets covering your body.

My feet fall over the edge of the mattress, and my right arms pushes my body up into a sitting position. I'm still sleepy enough that I need to use my arms in order to balance myself on the side of the bed before becoming motionless, my feet flat on the carpet. I remain like that - eyes staring at my feet - for a couple seconds. Suddenly, the little bits of carpet fuzz showing in between my toes are endlessly fascinating, enough so that I spend quite some time stretching my toes apart as far as they will go. Not very far.

I kick my legs up and down, left, right, left, right, toes still outstretched. Then I pump them like I'm swinging at a playground - nine years old again, if only for a second - and use the momentum to push my body off the bed. Sometimes, things like children's games are the only thing that get me out of bed.

I try not to think of you, getting up from the other side of the bed, much quieter and less showy than I do. I love you. I need to love you.

There's silence, and I don't like silence. It gives me all this extra time alone with my brain, and suddenly I start thinking all about silences and what they mean and what to say next and why nothing will come out of my stupid mouth. It's a perfect opportunity for self-evaluation, something I avoid like the plague because it doesn't matter what i think about myself; I can't define my life. It matters how others see me, but my own point of view is useless. I'm not naive enough to believe otherwise.

Also, silences are awfully lonely.

I don't want to focus on that because I'm not lonely, I have you. The growing number of silences that lay between us like miles and miles of desert say differently, though.

My feet move by themselves out of the room from habit because I'm certainly not the one moving them. My brain isn't with my body, on its way to the kitchen; my brain is long expanses of road away, towns away, cities away, whether I want it there or not.

I could love kitchen floors forever, and I think I want to; at least they're distracting. The one I walk on runs cold under my naked toes as the balls of my feet imitate the slapping of flip-flops against the tile. For just a few seconds, the sound of my steps are the soundtrack of my life, and I want it to stay like that. A life filled with only petty, simple joys. I like simple.

I hesitate in front of the fridge briefly before continuing through the hallway on to the doorway. And it's as if, for just a passing second, I am determined to leave, to ignore anything tying me down - to ignore you - and just walk out.

But no. I lean out the threshold, my fingers grasping onto the door handle, holding my entire weight. I play with the thought of leaving, but I'm not passionate enough to. No, no, no. It's that I don't want to leave. I love you. So I bend down, toes barely hovering on the metal within the doorway. It's cold from the night's winds, but my feet remain still on it, comfortable. I grasp the plastic bag's open end, yanking up the newspaper, and close the door quickly.

I never read the paper back in Ikebukuro. I had people I depended on to read it for me, to live all the serious parts of life for me. I suppose it's almost the opposite now, as if you are now dependent on me. Now I'm the one reading the morning paper, caring about the headlines and how they affect me - us.

I don't want to think about it, though, because the more I think of you depending on me, the more I think I love that and not you. It's like I'm addicted to caring for you and your weakness, not to your love. As though I merely enjoy feeling strong by protecting you. I hate that part of me, maybe because it seems more genuine than the rest of me. I don't want to just love being your stronghold, I don't want to just be your stronghold, I want to be lovers - girlfriend and boyfriend, hand in hand. Can we do that again? Did we ever do that?

It's like your leg breaking broke something inside of me, and I'm only now trying to make up for it. Which sucks, because I'm not even a very caring person, so I can't imagine I'm good at helping you. I'm too used to being cared for. I don't think it's something that's you can easily grow out of.

You're sitting at the kitchen table when I walk back in, and I almost wish I had left, not because I don't want to be here, but because I don't want to face confrontation. Or make decisions. Like how I couldn't run to you. Like how I ran from Ikebukuro. It was only because I figured I could always go back and finish everything up if I regretted anything - it's how I am. I'm too much of a dumbass to go through one door unless I know the other one will stay open. It's not really open, though. I can't go back and face what I did; there's too much shame, too much that I can't admit to and accept. I can't return if I can't deal with that, and I don't think I ever can.

It's been so long. Not really, actually, not long at all. It isn't the city - the city was great and all, but it can only ever be metal and cement. It's the people, the blood stream of the city's body. I miss them more than I thought I would - all of them - but now they're gone.

No, that's not right. I'm the one who's gone. I'll admit that that feels lonely. It's like their lives just keep going with or without me, yet mine doesn't.

I go to the pantry and come out with a cereal box. Every little noise - from the door opening and closing to the subtle sound of flakes moving back and forth against each other in the box - is magnified to an agonizing point. Suddenly, the flipping of my bare feet on the kitchen floor is the enemy. Sitting down with a bowl, I play with your slippered feet as if nothing is wrong. Maybe nothing is wrong. Maybe I'm making up this entire distant between us within my head. You look up from the toast you're buttering and beam at me. It's comfortable, and I want so badly to believe it can stay this way forever. But I don't think it can.

I don't want to always be thinking about my relationship with you and its future or possible lack there of. Back then, I never thought about the future, and now I wish I could get my mind off of it - off of what might happen next, if anything. Now that i think about it, I should've cared more back then, thought more about my future with people. I guess it would've been weird, though, if I had. I wouldn't have been the me I was expected to be. Not that I ever felt any pressure to be someone I'm not; I was perfectly comfortable merely living in the moment. Now I just want that blissful simple-mindedness back - I want to be oblivious to our drifting. I know we are. We're drifting apart, and I don't think either of us can fight the current, even if we really want to.

Do I want to?

I wish I could blame him. He deserves it, for all he's done to me, you, us. Still, I'm helpless to escape his grasp. I thought when we left, he'd go away like everyone else, yet I find we need him more. I suppose my habit of depending on others really is hard to break. I'm like a child that way, depending on grown-ups and crying when abandoned. I don't know what or who to be mad at, but it should be him, and it's not. I won't be mad at you, though, I promise. I just don't know.

Our comfortable silence is bordering on awkward, and I want to find the words that will fix this, but nothing will. Even the words that can end this quicker and less painfully die in my throat. I look at you, and the cereal on my tongue lacks taste because I know I love you, and I wish I could say that it's still more than platonic and that it's still strong enough to make me want to stay here and that it's still in its purest form.

But it's not, and I won't lie to you.

I love you, but maybe not for long and certainly not forever.

I love you, but not so strongly that it can continue to pull me away from the city and people I love the most.

I love you, but not enough to say all this aloud. Not enough to tell you how I feel about you, about everything. I need to find someone to tell this to because I am just now realizing that even now, I'm not your support system; I am still being supported, and I need someone else to support me, someone I can support equally. You're weaker than me in your leg, and I'm weaker than you in my heart. It's not equal, and I understand that you aren't the one meant to support me and that I can't properly support you either.

Your eyes speak thousands of words, just as I imagine mine do right now. You know something's wrong, yet you also know enough that you don't say a word. Your silence confirms my suspicions: you knew far before I that I didn't loved you in the way you needed to be loved and in the way I needed to love you.

Next time I walk to the door, I'm not sure if I could resist the urge to keep walking straight out and away to somewhere else where, even if I'm dependent, I'm not dependent on you or him.

God, I'm stupid.

The words won't leave my throat, and that's how I can tell that I'm not just being paranoid and letting the silence make me think too much. If it were only that, then I would be able to tell you. I would laugh and joke about it with you, if I loved you as much as I want to.

So I shovel a spoonful of cereal into my mouth, letting the sugar dance on my tongue like the notion in my brain and swallow it down with the unspoken words in my mouth. We both know, but, like the waterfall, we have no choice but to just bear through it and suffer in silence until the waves at the bottom are upon us.

I don't even like SakixKida... hence the falling out of love part, I suppose.

Review and tell if I screwed up too badly! I've never tried first-person before, and I really hope I didn't mess up Masaomi ... I don't want him to be OOC! It sounds a bit emo to me, but whatever... Also, I apparently lack the ability to write "Saki" without feeling incredibly awkward, hence the first person-second person POV. I feel like there's so many things italicized (and there was a bunch more until I edited some of it).

It takes place somewhere during volumes 4, 5, or the beginning of 6.

Yeah. Okay.