A/N: This is my first Honey and Clover fic! Wanted to write one for a long time so here it is! :) I love Nomiya and Ayumi! :D Please review! Enjoy! :)

DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the characters... Honey and Clover credited for all! :)


She took her usual place behind the potter's wheel by the window at the university and dumped a handful of moist clay on it. She spun the wheel with her leg and began to shape the clay with her hands. Pottery always calmed her and helped her think. Her hands subconsciously molded the clay whilst she drowned in her thoughts.

Why am I unable to move on from you? Your familiar scent… your voice… your broad shoulders… the feeling of your soft brown hair and warm hands… I can still sense them… I know you will never feel the same way about me yet, why do I still dare to harbor hope? It's like I'm stuck in a box; unable to get out… I can never see the rest because all I've ever seen is you; I cannot accept the world into my arms because they are always busy reaching out to you…

Why…? I've always wondered if my love for you had any meaning… Like a moth attracted to fire, I've pursued my feelings knowing full well I'll burn myself in the end… Sometimes, I feel like my feelings for you have become my shackles, enticing me with false hopes and holding me back from opening my eyes to the rest of the world… Does my 'love' still have a meaning?

A single tear traced its path along her cheek and fell on her hand. She looked down to see that the well-beaten clay had been beautifully molded into a vase. Now it had to be put in the oven and burnt crisp for it to hold. Then after that came the painting and decoration until it was finally worth its value.

"Crying alone again I see, ?"

She looked up, startled by the voice, to see a figure leaning casually against the doorframe.

"Mr. Nomiya!"

He smiled gently before coming over and standing in front of her.

"Haven't I told you not to cry alone?" he chided, looking straight into her eyes.

She blushed unconsciously and replied indignantly, "I wasn't crying!"

He cupped her cheek and gently stroked his thumb along the path left by her lone tear, erasing any traces of it. He grinned as he saw her stare at him wide-eyed and red-cheeked. "You were saying…?"

She looked at him as he smiled back and before she knew it, her eyes pooled over. She grabbed onto his shirt and bawled.

"I wasn't crying! It's all your fault!"

"I know."

"I hate this! Why am I so stupid? Why do I do this to myself? Why can't I just give up on him?!"

He didn't reply. He gently stroked her hair and let her wet his shirt with her tears.

"Mayama's so dumb! He's such an idiot! Why do I like HIM of all people?! He has no right to make me feel this way!"

"He doesn't" he agreed.

"Don't say that! I just-I just… Oh, what is wrong with me?!"

"Nothing. You are beautiful Ayumi."

He said it in his usual nonchalant tone but there was an underlying emotion in his voice that made her catch her breath. Her bawls reduced to sniffles and she finally pulled back and looked at him, puffy-eyed.

"Wh-what?"

"I love you Ayumi"

She searched his eyes for a glint of mischief but all signs of teasing were gone and only honest and sincere eyes stared back at her.

"But-But I… I'm damaged goods!"

"I know" he replied, and just smiled.

That put an end to it. She understood. She didn't have to reply to his confession immediately; he merely told her his feelings. She understood that he understood. She needed time and he was willing to wait by her side, just being there for her as a shoulder to cry on if not anything else.

She thought about the vase she was making… The beaten clay first had to be molded, then baked and burnt to crisp and then allowed to cool for days until finally, it could be painted over and become beautiful. But the vase needed a potter; to shape it, burnt it, cool it, paint it and make sure it reached its potential perfection… The vase would be nothing without the potter.

Right now, she was the beaten clay; beaten and shapeless… All her sadness, all her masochistic pain, they molded her. Slowly, she would develop and someday, she would become a beautiful vase… In the meantime, Nomiya was the one who was there for her. She recalled the countless times she's cried to him; the times she'd used him to try and make Mayama jealous. A childish idea, no doubt, but he always played along. He read her perfectly and told her harsh truths about herself but at the end of the day, he was always there for her and never gave up on her. "Don't cry alone", he'd said to her and boy, did she take that seriously! He saw her for what she was, accepted her; knew what she could become if molded the right way.

When these thoughts came to her mind, she did something impulsively. It was something she normally would not have done so boldly. She hugged him.

It wasn't like the times she'd grabbed onto him to cry. She properly put her arms around him, buried her face in his chest and hugged him. He was shocked by her taking the initiative but soon, his arms were wrapped securely around her as he held her close.

Enwrapped in his warmth, she breathed in deeply and for the first time, she fully acknowledged his manly scent. She knew then. Her love for Mayama had not been meaningless. It was but a fire in molding the clay that she was, for this man; this man, who loved her beyond her comprehension; this man who would protect her from her own sadness; the man who was willing to accept her pain as a part of her. She may not love him yet, but she knew that this was a man she could grow to love in time.

For, if she was a vase then he was her maker, the potter.