As usual, please forgive this terrible author. Life has just been really busy, but I'm back! :) I tried really hard with this chapter. It was honestly very difficult for me to write, therefore it took a longer time to get it out! But I wrote it! I hope you'll enjoy it! Thank you so much for the reviews and likes! It always makes me happy to see and read them. Love you guys 3 Please enjoy this chapter!

Chapter 24: Our Messed Up Love

Masamune bit his lip harshly. He berated himself for his stupid words. How could he say "I love you," all of a sudden? Of course it would frighten Ritsu away. Yet, some part of him wished that would make the other remember him. The ravenette scoffed at his stupidity. Of course that didn't work. He remembered what happened when the brunette said those words to him. He told the other he couldn't love him, since he was with Natsumi. He brought this upon himself.

Masamune ran a hand through his raven tresses out of frustration. He simply didn't know what to do any more. He ruined his chances because he allowed his feeling to slip forward. He flopped down onto his bed. "Stupid… Stupid…" He kept repeating those words in his mind. Ritsu will probably avoid him now. What was he suppose to do in order for the other to remember him? A dark chuckle passed his lips. If only he didn't reject the other this wouldn't be happening. Maybe he should leave that way Ritsu wouldn't have to suffer more pain. Leave it here and not let the brunette remember in order to move on and possibly find someone who could make him eternally happy. Obviously that wasn't the case when two of them are together. Everything always seems to turn for the worst for them.

However, every thought of living without Ritsu only gripped his heart with pain. He knew he couldn't go through life anymore without his beloved. Masamune wished some divine being could give him an answer on how to solve the situation, but no one could give him an answer.

He gently caressed the ring around his finger for it comforted him in his despair. He closed his honey eyes and unconsciously allowed darkness to consume his mind. The ravenette fell into a deep sleep desperately needed after what occurred the past few days.

Ritsu could barely sleep during the night. The dark bags under his eyes would only tell others of his long, dreary night. At the thought of the spoken words, "I love you," made him blush deeply, but also brought on heavy confusion. He simply couldn't understand why the ravenette even uttered those words to him. What type of relationship did they have? How did they meet? Who was he? Why did he love him?

He wanted to the answers to all these questions, but he feared the answers to them. The brunette sighed deeply and slowly got out of bed to prepare for a long, probably very awkward day.

During breakfast, everyone came, except for Masamune. A servant reported that the ravenette haven't risen from bed yet and still sleeping. For the dark bags under the Ritsu's eyes, all assumed something must have occurred between them. Keisuke wanted to say something to his younger brother, but his parents stopped him. They thought it would be best for the two to work it out themselves. If the two could not resolve whatever going on between them, then what's the point for them to be together when they would constantly fall into fights and issues that they cannot solve without other's assistance?

The first prince understood his parents' point, but being the worrywart he was, he couldn't help but worry about the two. However, he knew he needed to step back and allow his younger brother to step forward and solve this issue himself. Maybe this time, Ritsu and Masamune can find their happily ever after together.

Throughout the course of the day, the brunette and ravenette never met face to face. Ritsu needed to go into town again to attend to some matters. He enjoyed interacting with the citizens and never minded the trip into town. He preferred that over long distance communication through phone calls and letters. He wanted to be more personal with his people. After all, he loved every single one of them.

Yet, through the day, Masamune constantly entered his thoughts. Masamune, a man he had supposedly forgotten. Ritsu knew that memories could never be forgotten; only sealed away. In this case, he must've sealed them away himself. But why would he do that to himself? What could've caused that to occur? The brunette sighed. Did he even want to know? After all, if he sealed away his memories, it would be to protect his fragile heart…

However, in his heart, he couldn't let this go. He wanted the answers to all of this. He supposedly loved Masamune, then why would he seal away memories of a man who loves him back? What happened between them? And does he even love the ravenette now? Those are the answers he feared to realize…

Masamune barely left his room. First of all, he needed to catch up on work and make many necessary calls. Secondly, he didn't want to see the brunette at the moment. After his stupidity last night, it would be better to stay away from the other. He needed to clear his mind and compose himself to make sure he wouldn't make the same mistake again. If he wanted to win his beloved prince back, he would have to do it the old fashion way.

The one he loves isn't the Oda Ritsu from his high school years or the Onodera Ritsu from their Earth days together, but the Onodera Ritsu from another world. The past is the past. Only the present truly matters. He would always love the Ritsu of the present, but still cherish the ones of past.

The ravenette took off his glasses and rested his back against the chair. His mind was completely occupied by Ritsu, leading him to barely able to concentrate on work. Better to stop than to do half-assed work.

Should he approach the younger man or give him space? He ran a hand through his hair due to frustration. He simply didn't know how to approach the situation. Honestly, did the prince even want to see him after his horrid confession yesterday? Probably not…

The ravenette looked out the window and realized the day has settled into the night. Due to his occupied mind, he hasn't even noticed how quickly the day went. Luckily the servants were kind enough to bring food into the chambers so that he wouldn't be starving.

Maybe a breath of fresh air would do him some good.

The ravenette got up from his chair and headed towards the garden. He truly loved to be there. Every time he stepped foot there, he would feel relaxed and always have his breath taken away by the beauty of it.

He approached the cherry blossom tree. Something about this flower always brought happiness or sadness upon them, a constant revolving cycle. It brought them sadness yesterday, maybe it would bring them happiness today…

Masamune sat down and rested his back against this tree. He closed his eyes and inhaled the fresh air around him. From simply being the garden, he felt comforted for some reason. It wouldn't hurt to take a little nap…

"Masamune…" The ravenette felt someone lightly shaking his shoulder and calling for him. He groaned a bit and chose to ignore it. Maybe it was just his imagination.

"Masamune…" There it was again. This time he blinked his eyes several times to drive away the sleepiness in them. After a few moments, he could see someone in front of him. It was Ritsu.


The brunette looked down, trying the avoid eye contact. He asked quietly, "Would it be alright if I sat next to you?"

"Uhhhh yes. Go ahead." Masamune didn't think the prince would even want to talk to him after yesterday.

An awkward silence settled between them. Both had many questions they wanted to ask one another, but didn't know to word them or have the courage to speak first.

"I didn't see you at breakfast today." The brunette attempted to make small talk to at least erase the silence between them.

"I was a bit tired and decided to sleep in. I needed to catch up on some work as well."

"I never asked, but what do you do?"

The ravenette chuckled. He wondered if Ritsu would believe he worked along side him at one point. "I work for a publishing company called Marukawa Publishing. I am the chief editor of Emerald, the shoujo manga department."

"Hmmmm." Ritsu didn't find the man's occupation weird at all. For some reason, he felt as if he enjoyed that genre, not that he recalled ever reading it though. He stared up into the midnight sky and counted the sparkling stars "Will you tell me how I met you…?"

"Do you really want to know?" Masamune displayed a very gentle expression.

"Yes. I want to remember you."

The ravenette nodded. He felt warmth in his heart to know that other wanted to remember him. "We met in high school. Of course it was on Earth. Whether you want to believe it or not, you were my little stalker."

"S-stalker?" A crimson blush spread across the prince's cheek.

Masamune laughed at the adorable reaction. "Yes. You always watched me in the library and read all the books I read, no matter how boring or crazy it was."

"W-why I do that?" A stalker? Ritsu didn't know he had it in him to do something so embarrassing…

"Mmmm... I think that's something you'll have to remember on your own." The older man understood that it would be better for other remember on his own rather than having being told. To be told the reason was the fact he loved him would probably only lead to make the situation worse.

"Why can't you tell me?" The younger of the two turned towards the other. "I want to know. You must've been so important to me, but why would I seal my memories of you away…?"

Masamune turned away. "Because I hurt you… I was so dumb and stupid. I made myself confused. And in the end, I almost lost you…"

"What are you talking about?" By now, Ritsu's voice slightly escalated. He grabbed onto the other man's arm. "Please tell me!"

"If I told you, you'd just hate me and send me away. I don't want that…" The brunette could hear the sadness and bitterness in his voice. A bitterness towards himself, not towards others.

"I won't!"

"How can you say that when you don't even remember? I hurt you so much! I hate myself for what I did to you…"

"Then help me remember! Help me remember who you are to me! I can't get rid of the feeling that I want to know everything about you! To know why you love me! To know why I might've loved you!"

Masamune shook his head. "Maybe it's better if you didn't remember the past… You sealed your memories because you were so hurt by me…"

"Then tell me at least. Why do you love me…?" Maybe that's the one question Ritsu yearned in his heart to hear desperately.

The ravenette leaned his head against the bark of the tree and titled his head slightly towards Ritsu. "Because you brought happiness to my life. Despite everything we went through together, you were the only one who could ever make me truly happy. In whatever you do, you always tried you're hardest. You didn't give up in whatever you did. As I watched you, I could only find myself falling for you more and more by the day. Even now, I love still you more than anything in this world. I regret what I have done to you. If I could reverse time, I would. I don't ever want to be apart from you again…"

The brunette could find no words to answer this. All he could tell was that with this man, he felt happy. "Why can't I remember you…? I want to remember…"

Masamune lifted a hand to caress the other's cheek. "Maybe it's for the better…"

The brunette could feel tears beginning to cloud his vision. He couldn't understand the sadness invading his heart. Why did he feel the way he does? Can someone tell him what these feelings are…?

The ravenette brushed away the tears trickling down the pale cheeks. "Don't cry…"

"I'm trying." A heartbreaking smile decorated his lips.

Masamune removed his hand from the other's cheek and moved it cover one of his beloved hands. Ritsu looked down at the hand resting upon his own. He noticed a ring on one of the fingers. It looked fairly familiar, but his teary vision prevented it him from seeing it clearly. He used his free hand and wiped away his tears. He lifted the other hand that held the ring.

Emerald orbs widened. It was his family's ring… "I gave you this ring…?"

The ravenette nodded. A gentle smile slipped onto his face. "You gave this to me two years ago."

This ring… The Onodera family heirloom passed down from generation to generation to be given to the heir's true love. Did he love the man this much to give him this ring?

He must've… Yes, he loved this man. Ritsu could feel the rising emotions in heart confirming that he had loved this man. Together they faced sadness, despair, happiness, and love. Yes, they did. He remembered all these feelings. He remembered… He remembered this man, Takano Masamune. The senpai he loved in high school. The neighbor and boss he loved during his Earth days. And the man who returned to him and hurt him, but even now still love.

"Masamune…" Ritsu reached forward and wrapped his arms around the other man's neck and brought them into an embrace.

The ravenette couldn't understand what was happening, but circled his arms around other's waist. He could feel a small patch of wetness forming on his shoulder.

"I remember…"

"Ritsu!" Masamune tightened his hold around the other. Euphoria filled his heart. His beloved remembered him. "I love you… I love you so much…"

"I love you too Masamune… Please let us be together always… Please…" The brunette pushed himself as close as possible. He wanted to feel the warmth the other possessed.

"I promise we will… forever…"

YAY! :) Ritsu finally remembers! Lol I love how I meant that ring to not be much, but as I continued, it became a large symbol throughout the story for the two. I hope you enjoyed this chapter! ^^ The next one will be the last! I'll try to post it hopefully by next weekend!

Please review! I do want to hear your thoughts! It will help motivate me to write the chapter faster! Thank you for reading loves!

Thank you for sticking with me these past 2 years for this story. I appreciate each and every one of your support. I love you all 3

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