note: posting this up here at the pit two years after it was written, but i have to say that this fic has a special place in my heart. i own nothing.

it's selfish, to hope that he will call her mittan (one more time, just, once more), and smile teasingly with that air of lazy confidence. micchon, saki, a mess of one-sided micchon/akira, and saki/akira.

Does your heart echo like a hall, 'cause there's no one there at all?

Micchon is a worrier, the worst kind.

Whenever she breathes, it isn't a word, but a sigh of relief. And they say that she thinks too much, and speaks too little, and that she's shy and closed-off and introverted and quiet. She doesn't open her mouth to respond, but, if possible, shuts it even tighter, to prevent the collected trepidation from falling out and spilling onto the streets.

She's never really believed in knights in shining armour, or Prince Charmings, only in nice-boring-boys and the ones-next-door-who-really-aren't-what-they're-cracked-up-to-be. And sleeping princesses and forgotten slippers only existed in fairytales and this was the real world where realthings happened. Micchon was content being the "Computer Wiz" and having Eden as company.

But that man (though he's really only a boy, just as she is still a girl and so is Saki and they were all just children anyway, she supposes), that man knew how to light up the night sky (the darkest of them). He knew how to make stars explode from the ground with the touch of his hand, a wink and a grin. She knew they were fireworks, of course, but they were different because it was him, and he was different. They were more than that; the brilliance of their glow, the noise (– music) the second they crackled against the air, everybody's reactions – they were all enhanced and blown-up and so ethereal and so beautiful she found herself overwhelmed. That's when she knew there was something magical about that man.

Mittan, he called her.

That man was gone now, though, erased and rebuilt (tabula rasa) for a second time. Or maybe he just went away for a long, long time; conscience on vacation, his existence sealed and compacted into a neat little package (so different from what it once was). She's sorry to see him go, and sorry for Saki, too, because she knew (everyone knew, but Ohsugi pretends not to) she had been attached, knew things Saki didn't have to say to make true.

If Saki had truly fallen in love with whoever Takizawa Akira was, had been, is, then there's no reason she would not again. Same blank mind, same mop of hair, same effortless smile, he was all there.

Micchon tells her this, and her friend (her best) smiles weakly in response, a hopeful sign, but whatever that was is forced, and Micchon frowns at the heart on her friend's sleeve, wishing quietly that it would piece itself back together.

But Saki can be stubborn when she wants to be, and she knows she will cry, but later, much later, in the confines of her room (away from the prying eyes of her sister and the previous man she helplessly placed her feelings in), and Micchon remembers that Saki does not cry loudly. She does it silently, silently and privately, suppressing every violent shake and hiccup, eventually tiring herself out from both the effort of it and her torn emotions.

It's selfish, to hope that he will call her Mittan (one more time, just, once more), and smile teasingly with that air of lazy confidence. Maybe he hasn't forgotten everything, maybe he still remembers when they ignited the sky (and it grew so bright, brighter than the sun), or that time he called her cute, or, or

At this, Micchon frowns even harder, at that moment hating Takizawa Akira (but just for a moment), for breaking hearts and not knowing, not remembering. She looks away, and takes a forced, steady breath, when this Takizawa blinks at them, and promptly asks, Where am I?

She can't bear to see the realization dawn on her friend's face, and she is tempted to cover her ears to the sound of Saki's breath catching horribly in her throat. This is too much, too much for her, too much for the both of them, and–

And just like that, he became a prince, in this country with no kings.