**Author's Note at bottom**

Chapter 4 - Thinking

5.11.08, 6:24 AM

I don't say anything for a while. I'm not even sure what to THINK, forget about talking! My mouth feels dry and I can't... I just can't.

"How," I manage to articulate while staring at the wood grains in my dining table.

I hear Kousuke take a breath to say something, probably some sassy remark along the lines of "I used my eyes", but then he stops himself. I glance at him, and he shrugs.

"Why. Why would he be back." My gaze wanders over the edge of the table to the floor.

"Back? He isn't back. He was in America."

"Why."

"Why are you asking me?"

I turn to him, and I feel my face scrunch up. "You didn't talk to him?!"

"Hence the 'I think'," Kousuke replies, and his face seems to age five years in that moment. He sighs heavily, leans back in his chair, and tilts his head, smiling slightly. "I saw him from far off. He was across this really busy street, but I just saw that hair, all bright and in your face. He was wearing a business suit, and he even had a briefcase. Could you imagine? I mean, it might not have been him, but... I could've sworn..." He chuckles softly. "You know, I kind of wish it wasn't him. If Chiaki was around us, the first thing I thought he'd do was to come see us, or at least you. He owes us at least that much after leaving us like that, without any warning. But at the same time, I wish it was him. Seeing that bastard in a suit..."

I can't help but grin. Kousuke never talks this much, and to talk with such softness and sincerity... it was nice to hear him tone down, what with all his stress from school and his long-distance relationship issues. And... imagining Chiaki, crazy Chiaki, the seemingly uncaring time traveler, who got into fist fights and sported that eye-catching hair with pride... in a suit.

"Look. I thought that you should know that's he probably still around. I'm not sure what happened between you guys, but if you ever saw each other again... I just thought you'd like some time to figure out what to say."

I bite my lower lip. "What, do you expect me to go to America and track him down?"

"No. I expect you to do what you want and say what you want." He studies my face for a while before speaking again. "Did you like him? Like how he liked you?"

I think for a moment before answering, "I'm pretty sure I liked him more."

Kousuke smirks. "You're wrong about that one. If you saw him now, would you talk to him?"

Laughing, I reply, "Um, I might have to punch him first, but I guess."

"Makoto, I know it's not really my business, but... he left for his reasons, and he's still away for his reasons, but he will come back to see you."

"After all this time... you don't know that."

"Yeah, I do." Kousuke backs his chair up to stand. "I should go. Sorry for barging in so early."

I stand, too. "No, no, I'm glad you came. It was really good seeing you. And talking." We start walking towards the front door.

"Sorry. With my work load and the time difference..."

"I understand. Good luck with Fujitani-san. You should go see her."

"I will, don't worry about it. Your phone number's still the same right?"

"Mhmm. And yours?"

"Same. I'll talk to you later, alright? We should meet again before I head back."

"Of course." I call for Miyuki. She storms down the stairs and exclaims,

"Tsuda-kun! Do you have to go?"

"Miyuki!"

She pouts and says, "Bye."

Kousuke laughs. "Bye! See you guys soon."

"Bye, Kousuke." I open the door for him, and he walks out into the morning air.

**Author's Note**

I am not affiliated with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time in any way.

Geez I miss Kousuke.

Thank you for all your lovin'. It's much appreciated! a;wlek gjajflv

Oh, if there are any particular characters you want to see from the movie here (or more of them, I include a lot of them), let me know. Or if you have any original characters. That's fine, too!