The term came to mind as I sat down trying not to think about anything. Sadly, it's becoming hard for me to remain idle even when I try. So, I decided to just write this one down in the midst of my long semi-hiatus. I hate keeping people from the ending of "From Now 'Till Forever" and "Here's Where We Begin", but, I'm a little bit too tired to finish either of it at the moment. Hopefully, until such time where I'd be able to find abundance time to write, I shall finish all that I've started. For now, one-shot!

It was one of the longest day of his life; long meetings and even longer phone calls to boot. Needless to say, he was barely registering the fact of the time and space as he walked into his house, loosening his tie just as soon as he closed the door behind him. The house sounded strangely quite but it did not register inside his brain either, he threw his blazer lazily onto the couch before walking towards the path leading to the bedroom. All he could think about was a long hot shower to wash off the tiredness that was enveloping his body. "Once upon a time…" A soft voiced trailed begin a story captured his attention as he walked passed a room with a half opened door. He stopped in his track immediately, taking a step back to peer into the room. His gaze immediately fell onto a beautiful young woman with a small girl leaning onto her. Before them was an open, heavily illustrated book. The child looked immensely interested as her eyes widened to see the pictures.

He knew them both, he knew the child and the woman, he had known the woman longer than he did the child and he could still remember the first time he saw her. She was beautiful, too beautiful that he had to find reasons to avoid her, he was no right for her, and he kept repeating that in his head like he was chanting to a point where he nearly believed it himself. Luckily, he didn't, by twist of fate; he managed to keep her by his side. Years passed, and the years had been kind to the woman; she still looked as lovely as he had first laid eyes on her. No, in fact, if it was possible, he would like to think she had gotten even more beautiful over the years. He watched her as she patiently read word by word of a large book, lying in bed with a small girl leaning onto her. Every now and then she would make faces and change her voice to imitate whichever character she was speaking as. It was a princess and then the prince and everything in between, He wasn't really listening to the story – he was busy staring, staring at her and her grace.

"But, the evil…" The woman's voice entered his wake again and he found himself leaning lazily on the doorframe as he stood listening and watching the storyteller. He wasn't sure how long he stood there, completely fixated, forgetting the long day he had or even the aching body of his, but, by the time his brain even registered any level of recognition, the storyteller had stopped reading and the child was already fast asleep. Slowly and carefully the storyteller got up from the bed, tucking the little girl in before turning to acknowledge him for the first time. A small smile was all it took to set his heart in motion again and make him forget of all that was drowning him. He couldn't help but smiled back at her as she walked towards him gracefully, without a word; she pulled him lightly along with her before closing the door behind them.

"Marry me," He blurted as they stood in the middle of the busy street. She gasped, her eyes widened, completely shocked, no doubt of that. "Excuse me?" She braved herself enough to ask. "Marry me," He repeated easily, taking her left hand into his, giving it a slight squeeze. "But –" She mumbled, trying to form coherent sentences but words were failing her. He was just running away from her, playing a mean trick just because he could. She was chasing him and for some reason he stopped. He stopped in the middle of the street and allowed her to catch up with him. "I –" She tried speak but her brain was turning into mush. He was smiling at her, the kind of smile she had never seen before. It was not sinister and it was nothing like he flashed to other girls. It was sincere, hopeful. She gasped. She started seeing him without expectations, she was a romantic, sure, but, foolish she was not. She knew who he was and even when his reputation didn't scare her, she knew better than to hope for more.

"How about saying 'yes'?" He offered cautiously as he watched her struggle to comprehend the whole situation. He had thought about it long and hard. He was getting tired of the games and if he was truly honest with himself, he had abandoned the games a long time ago as well. He didn't ask her out on a whim, he already knew. He knew he cannot exist without her. She arched her eyebrows, mildly amused at his arrogance. She wanted to challenge him but she could not bring herself to do just that. She was afraid of saying the wrong things. She didn't know what to say, nothing at all. She wondered if it was a joke and as if he was able to read what was going through her mind, he struggled with his free hand, shoving it into his pocket before pulling out a dark Tiffany's & Co. box. "Marry me," He repeated.

He wasn't playing and it was clear to her that he wasn't. The crowd started to form around them as she stood speechless. She wanted to ask if he was sure, but the words were stuck in her throat. She wanted to ask if he had asked her parents if it was alright for him to ask for her hand in marriage, yet, she can't even think of that. Nothing sticks as her mind whirled in wonder. She can't speak. Slowly, there was only one thing she could do, so, slowly, she nodded. "Yes?" He asked cautiously, not wanting to be overconfident. She nodded again and a smile formed on his lips. He let her hand fall to her side slowly before he opened the box, finally revealing the content. With shaky hands, he retrieved her left hand and placed the ring on her fourth finger.

"Long day?" She asked carefully, her hand was still holding onto his and he felt comfortable feeling the warmth emitting from it. Unable to find any words to say, he could only nod. His eyes were fixated onto the woman before him; the years had certainly been kind to her. He watched a smile touched her lips and her face closing to his, within seconds he could feel her soft lips on his cheek and he felt like flying. The kiss was short, a sweet chaste kiss, but, he could remember the feel of her lips. He had kissed her before, he had lost count on how many it was, but, he had loved every single one of it. He exhaled slowly as her lips left his cheek, leaning forward to touch his forehead onto hers. "Feel better?" The woman asked bemusedly, still tugging onto his shirt. He let out a sigh. He still couldn't wrap his head around the idea that he was lucky enough to have her. Seven years and he still thought that he was the luckiest man alive. "I love you, Nishikado Yuki," He mumbled unthinking. Bringing his palm and trace her face with his thumb light. A small smile graced her soft expression.

"I love you too, Nishikado Soujirou," She replied earnestly, placing her palm on top of his hand, stopping it. She tiptoed again, this time; she placed a lingering kiss onto his lips. He sighed into the kiss, feeling as if he owned the world. But, the kiss didn't last; she pulled away before he could deepen it. He pouted and she chuckled easily. "I think I need a little bit more of that," He teased her easily with a smile widening on his face. He caught the faint blush on her cheek before descending to capture her lips again, it was perfect.

Originally posted on "Lovers Unparalleled" 6th March 2012