A/N: Hah! At long last, I finished you! How about that? Anyway, I dedicate this story to my friend, Stella-chan, for being such a wonderful FRIEND!^_^
Disclaimer: I don't own The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and its characters from both anime and live action movies.
Summary: He said he'd wait. She said she'll come running. Finally, she reached him and he marveled at the sight of her.
His hand touches the glass window and his eyes drifted throughout the entirety of the painting he so much wanted to see, he dreamed to see, he yearned to see. As implausible as it may be, there is no way his eyes would deceive him. It was there, good as new.
Could it be? Was it she? Could it possibly be her who had made this miracle in his time?
His heartbeat raced. He never really expected too much from what she had promised to him that fateful day. He never truly did. Yet, in one way or another, he trusted her words. Those mere words she so easily said. That promise that he alleged as something she stated out of the awkwardness of their situation in the past, his past. Her assurance was something he had hoped. Yet that was all he did. He trusted but only half-hearted. Reviving a painting is no child's play and considering Makoto's careless nature he never really expected much from her in that aspect. He definitely thought she'd surrender half-way.
Then again, Makoto always do things unexpectedly. The painting in front of him, so vibrant and so alive, is a testimony to that. Surprisingly, she made true to her promise as he thought so otherwise.
His hands traced the glass window once more, outlining the distinctive curves he imagined she tried so hard to recover from completely fading. His breath caught up in his throat and he slowly leaned his forehead on the window, eyes closed as he savored the breathtaking picture, imprinting them on his mind like his life depended on it. But then again, a different image but still as breathtaking as the painting invaded his mind. How he missed her smile, her funny antics, her vigor. How he missed HER.
"Makoto…" he barely whispered as his heart filled again with such longing for her.
He knew she could never reach him. He knew that all too well. Yet he humored her by telling her he'd wait. I'll be waiting in the future, he had said. And she believed him. He thought she did given that she had stopped crying. And as he watched those wet, sorrowful eyes change into something he discerned as newfound determination coupled with hope, in some way, he found himself hoping for it as well, that someday she would truly reach him.
"With my feelings for you as my guide, I'll persist on running, so that someday I could keep my promise of finally reaching you."
Chiaki started, pushing himself away from the window and turning his head to face the owner of the voice. He spotted her, standing beside him on his right, a good inches short contrasted with his own height. She inclined her head slightly to look at him and for a moment, he thought he saw her, Makoto; her eyes that radiates vitality and excitement for playfulness and adventure, her face that flaunts not of her good looks but of her spirited and honest personality, her stature that manifests resilience no matter how petite she is and how hard and frequent she falls, and her smile so revealing and bright yet so fond and warm at the same time.
But as the cloud of nostalgia slowly fades away from his eyes, it was only then he saw that it was not her. They may share some likeness of qualities but he noted the hint of knowing in her eyes, the wisdom in her face, the mark of skill in her posture, and the secrecy in her smile – features he hardly ever see in Makoto. Astonishingly similar, yes, but definitely different.
"The artist sure left a mysterious afterthought, don't you think?" she said, her eyes still settled on his.
Not exactly sure what his companion is talking about, he came up with an honest, "What?" as a reply. The girl giggled at this and turned her attention back to the painting as she points to the characters written on a small plaque attached to the stand where the painting was settled.
He followed her pointing finger. Then he saw it. And it was only then he realized the meaning behind those words she had mentioned when he saw the name that came after the phrase – her proof of existence and her branding.
His heart swelled and he marveled at the feeling of love he always have for her. He felt his yearning for her surged considerably and he felt the desire to take a leap once more for the mere reason of seeing her again. He released a shuddering breath as he settled his overflowing emotions.
"I'll be leaving now."
The voice beside him caught his attention for the second time and before she could finally leave him, he called to stop her.
"Wait. May I know your name?"
The girl gave him an appraising look, perhaps considering whether to concede to his request or not. After a moment of silent deliberation, she smiled.
"It's Akari. Yoshiyama Akari."
She gave a bow and turned to continue on her way. He remained watching her departing back until she made her exit of the museum. But before he lost sight of her from the crowd outside, he noted the baseball glove carrier hanging about her shoulder. Then, he smiled.
Setting his attention back to the painting, he gave it a one last satisfying look. Then finally turned his back on it and made his way out of the museum as well, his misty yet fulfilling smile still on his lips. And as he let himself bask under the warmth of the sun, he gave Makoto's lasting words a final thought.
With my feelings for you as my guide, I'll persist on running, so that someday I could keep my promise of finally reaching you.
There's no need to run anymore, Makoto…
He raised his gaze skywards, meeting hers as vivid as ever.
…for you had finally reached me, at last.
A/N: To those who have yet watch the 2010 live-action movie (major spoiler ahead), Yoshiyama Akari is the daughter of Yoshiyama Kazuko, who leapt through time in search of Fukamachi Kazuo, her mother's first love. In relation to this, Yoshiyama Kazuko and Fukamachi Kazuo is the counterpart of Konno Makoto and Mamiya Chiaki in live action, respectively. In my story though, I took a little liberty with Akari's relationship to Makoto and made her Makoto's granddaughter.