Summary: Kanata had already learned not to expect. Five years of Miyu's absence — how could this year be any different? "Hey, long time no see, Kanata." — Actually, it was wildly different.
Disclaimer: I don't own Daa! Daa! Daa! Nor any anime/manga for that matter. Nor anything in the world, that's why I now have a job (though I have yet to complete my thesis) so I could buy something I'd own. Oh yeah, and I'm currently at work.
Sometimes he would wonder: would his life be any different had he confessed to her on that fateful day?
If only he'd asked her to, would she have stayed? For him?
Or would she turn him down without even batting an eyelash?
Kanata was part of the convoy that saw Miyu off from the Heiomachi train station six years ago. Their little group of friends huddled together in one corner of the station, forming a very lopsided circle with Miyu in the middle. Momoka was there too, clinging to the hem of Christine's dress. Her eyes were swimming with unshed tears. Kanata was curious how Momoka had gotten so close to Miyu for the little one to be this affected.
Miyu, unfortunately, couldn't see Momoka from where she was. Aya and Nanami had her engulfed in a fierce hug. Neither was as upset as Momoka, but it was obvious they were both making conscious effort to not show their own heartfelt sadness. The guys—Nozomu, Santa, and Kanata—were standing a little ways to the side, pretending to be uncomfortable of girls' over-sentimentality. But even they were mentally fretting over their impending separation from Miyu.
Truthfully, the idea had not yet fully sunk in, but they all knew there won't be plenty more of hanging out like this after she leaves. After all, it was Miyu's and Kanata's close relationship that brought the boys and girls of their group closer together. Miyu and Kanata were always around each other, one way or another, while everyone simply tagged along. Of course, their friendship grew over the short time they'd all been together—but from now on, every time they'd meet, they'd always notice the void left by their absentee member, Miyu.
Kanata, for one, was definitely going to miss her. There was no point in denying it; it was going to be painful for the first few months.
Miyu was in a roller coaster ride of emotions. In one moment, she was overjoyed by her parents' surprising return to the country and by their sudden announcement that they would be staying for good, and in the next she was flustered at the thought of leaving Heiomachi to live with her parents. Then she was scared at the thought of settling down in a city where she knew no one outside her own family. And nervous, and somewhat excited at the prospect of a new adventure. And then guilty for actually feeling excited.
Her parents didn't offer her any options—they didn't have to. Miyu knew they would agree if she asked to stay in Heiomachi. But she also knew of the disappointment they would inevitably feel if she voiced out her thoughts. They were doing this for her, and she appreciated their efforts very much, but she had to endure tough times for her to be completely alright again. Still, for her, it had been a very easy choice.
Although for appearance's sake, she wanted to throw a tantrum much like the one she did when her parents decided to send her to Heiomachi in the first place. But she was older now, and if she were honest, she would like to spend time with her beloved mom and dad again (even though they usually just jerk her life around at their whims).
So far, it was a very easy choice, only because she wasn't offered any choice at all.
So God forbid someone opens another option for her. She didn't anyone to ask her to stay, because then, her decision would be anything but easy to stick to. And she silently prayed it wouldn't be Kanata who'd ask. Not Kanata, anyone but Kanata.
If he offered to let her continue bunking with him, Miyu wasn't sure she'd be ale to choose her parents' wishes over his.
Because Kanata had been her guardian, her trustworthy confidante, her ally, and her bestfriend all these time she was alone —without her parents— in Heiomachi. Truth be told, his presence in her life was as almost big as her parents', and his opinions weighed as much as theirs.
If he asked her the question - "will you stay?", she wouldn't be able to stay away.
Kanata somewhat knew he had a say in the matter. More than anyone, he could make his choices work. If there was anyone who could stop Miyu from leaving, it was him. He believed, she would stay for him. If he asked.
He knew, in his heart that was the case. Their feelings were mutual to say the least—he loved her—as family, as friend, as his almost-lover, and because she too loved him in return, she would not go if he asked her not to.
But it was all gut-feel.
Until now, neither had the courage to break the their happy, more-than-friends-but-less-than-official-lovers status quo. Before this time, neither were even inclined to tell the other outright how they felt. No, they weren't scared of being rejected, they were confident that their feelings were wholly reciprocated. There was no need for words, when their actions already spoke volumes. No one had thought it was necessary; what they had was already comforting, so why rush?
Now they were confronted with a reason to rush. But now it was too late.
Because Kanata was stubborn, he would never be selfish and deprive Miyu of the chance to be with her parents again. And Miyu was equally stubborn; she would never be selfish and deprive her parents of the chance to be with her, their only daughter, again. Besides, Miyu had always been a good girl— despite how loud she could get.
So when it was their turn to hug (they were the last to hug before she boarded the train), they were both wrapped in their own thoughts: Kanata with his self-conviction that he wouldn't regret his decision to stay silent, and Miyu with her confidence that she wouldn't lament not exploring her other options. They didn't realize that they'd hug closer than how Miyu hugged their other friends. Space was nonexistent between their bodies. His lips were so close to her ear, she wouldn't miss a word of his plea, if only he'd spoken. Her hands were tangled in his locks, so she could have prevented him from ever letting her go, had she not let him go first.
The moment was so short, they could not have hugged three heartbeats more than Miyu's goodbye hug with Santa. Yet it felt long too, for within those three distinct heartbeats, their own hearts were pounding loudly in their chests, they could each feel the rhythm of the other's heart. They were synchronized.
They parted taking refuge in the fact that their hearts had beat as one.
Smiles ghosted over their lips as Miyu waved to them goodbye.
AN: Feedbacks, violent reactions are welcome. I think it can't be helped with this kind of story, and with my sub-par storytelling so I don't mind. Patience is a virtue though, so I hope you'd continue reading the next chapters to see where Miyu's and Kanata's relationship go. Afterall, what's an adventure without a few bumps? (Although calling something as languid as this as an adventure is pushing it, is it not?)