Toldja I wouldn't take so long. Hey. At least it wasn't 3 months, eh?

And oh. Would you look at that? Over 6,000 words. I Toldja I'd make up for myself.

So, this is it. The last chapter. Damn. Took me nearly a year to write 13 goddamn chapters. FML.

Well. After this, I dunno what I'mma do. Maybe I'll start a new story. That sounds fun.

Disclaimer: I don't own Sekaiichi Hatsukoi or any of its characters.


10 years later

Masamune sighed, as he scanned through the remaining pages of the manuscript.

No…This is all wrong. What the hell is the author thinking? Is she on crack or something?

He sighed, and took his red pen to the page, fixing mistakes and jotting down notes about how terribly the plot would be affected if she had used these events.

Sometimes, Takano liked to compare his life to a manuscript. Yes, that's right. Takano Masamune, the editor-in-chief of the Shoujo manga department of Marukawa publishing, liked to compare his boring old live to a stack of terribly-written papers.

At the age of 28, things were going well for the male. He had his own apartment, and he was well-known as a successful editor. His income wasn't bad, and well, he enjoyed what he did, no matter how much he tried to deny it.

It was all normal, and calm…Like the introductory to a manga, as one would say.

His past, however, was a whole other story.

As he glanced up at the clock, he winced at how late he had stayed. The others had left hours ago, and aside from a few stinkbugs and moths, he was probably the only remaining person in the building. Gathering his things, he took the elevator down, and allowed himself to close his eyes in impatience.

It's the beginning of the month, and she's already making so many mistakes…He thought, scowling as he exited the elevator, and shoved his hands into his coat pockets as he wandered outside.

Some may say that Takano Masamune was a lonely man. It's true; he didn't have very many friends, aside from Yokozawa, whom in which had always left before him. Yokozawa also had a lover now, leaving Takano even less time to talk to the mama bear.

Despite his good looks, his successful career, and his confident, all-going attitude, Takano Masamune was an alone, single man.

Most people would say that he simply wasn't interested in a relationship. Others would argue that his lover had died, and he was a forever loyal widow. But there were always those innocent, unknowing people who would think that he had simply had his heartbroken.

And those people were exactly correct.

Masamune boarded the train, not really knowing or caring when he had actually arrived at the station. He sat down on the very edge of the seat, and let his eyes flutter close in exhaustion.

It's not like he wasn't already used to disappointments, back then, anyways.

He had pretty much lived alone since middle school. His parents were hardly home, and when they were, they were arguing back and forth over the slightest things. They sent him to jail without even the littlest hesitation.

He never really felt loved. He never knew the warm and possessive feeling of being cared for. He didn't know what it was like to feel like he belonged.

That's why when he was 15; he finally felt even the littlest bit happy.

He had met Onodera Ritsu, his pen pal. His little kouhai. His friend. And though he knew that he had never really interacted with the male in real life before his time in jail, the boy cared for him, and he slowly felt himself caring as well.

When he was released, he found the boy again, confessing his love for him. Back then, Takano had no idea that they were the same Ritsu. But his icy heart had melted just a little more at the thought of being loved by two people.

He wasn't sure what was happening, back then. He would push the freshman away; yell cold insults in his direction. But the boy would always come back. He would always be there for the teen, smiling in his warm and kind way.

Of course, he knew that he had to put in an effort to love the boy then. It was the least he could do, after all.

After making love to the younger teen, Masamune didn't know what to feel. It wasn't like having sex with some whore from school. No. It was love making. He felt a burning sensation that wasn't painful, but rather….pleasing whenever he looked at the boy, and he knew that it was a sign that the boy was meant to be his.

So when he found out that this Ritsu was his Onodera Ritsu, you know that he had to have been very happy.

To find out that the same person whom in which had brought him out of the darkness was now someone who he loved very much was a very good thing in the older teen's eyes.

Oh yes, it was a very good thing indeed.

In those days, he was happy. Happier than he'd ever been. And it was all because of a certain green-eyed doe that caught him smack like a deer in the headlights.

And before he knew it, it was all taken away from him.

He still remembers that moment. That very memory that had shattered his life forever. How could he forget? It was still so clear to him.

The happy couple walked down the hall to the dining room, hand in hand. The older teen paused for a second, to lean down and place a gentle kiss on the younger one's head. The said freshman blushed, and leaned up to kiss the senior on his cheek. However, Saga had only laughed lightly, and brought his kouhai into a warm, chaste kiss on the lips.

The two of them had felt absolute bliss, and Ritsu found himself leaning against his lover slightly, in an affectionate manner, as they made their way down to eat.

They're hands detached from one another's as a precaution, and yet as they pushed through the old, oaken doors to the dining hall, it hadn't occurred to either of them that their relationship was just about to take a turn for the worse.

Of course, how would they have known that the girl in the pastel, frilly dress would be there, waiting for the brunette?

"A-An-chan?" Ritsu stuttered, surprised by the sight of his childhood friend. Saga's smile dropped as the girl's smile widened at the sight of Ritsu. His Ritsu.

"Rittie, you bum! I've been waiting for you to wake up, silly!" An exclaimed, holding up the various gift packages in her hands. Today wasn't anything special, Saga had thought. Had she returned from a trip or something?

"Sorry, An." The ravenette watched as his lover smiled sheepishly at the girl. The sight was undyingly adorable, but it angered him that the smile was directed at a girl he had yet to introduce.

"Oh? Is this a friend of yours?" The girl asked, finally seeming to acknowledge Masamune's presence.

"H-Hai! H-He's a really good friend of mine!" Ritsu laughed, and Masamune wondered why his lover wasn't revealing their relationship. Regardless, Saga fake smiled at the girl, and bowed slightly in respect.

"I'm Saga Masamune." He said, spite biting at the tip of his tongue.

"Oh, nice to meet you, Saga-san!" the girl exclaimed. "I'm Kohinata An, Rittie's fiancée!" she giggled. Saga felt his smile fall. That's right…Ritsu mentioned something about a fiancée in his letters, Saga thought. But he also recalled that the brunette said that he didn't want to marry her…

Wouldn't he have told her that by now?

"A-An! Y-You know that isn't true…" Ritsu started, but stopped when he saw the pouting face of the girl.

"But Ri-chan, I love you!"

Saga stiffened, but he didn't leave. No, he wouldn't allow himself to fall for another misunderstanding.

Ritsu seemed speechless. "A-An…"

"Ri-chan…You know you should stop messing around with him like that," An said, gesturing to Saga, "You're engaged to me, so you should stop all this 'I'm in love' nonsense."

Saga's breath hitched, as the girl sent him a cold glare, and a cruel smile. "That's right. We're engaged. He's in love with me, not you. He's such a gentleman, really. See? He even got me an engagement ring."

An held up her hand to reveal a shining bright diamond, decorating her ring finger. It was elegantly carved, and engraved in shining emerald stones.

Saga wished it wasn't true. He didn't want it to be true. It couldn't be true.

An's eyes softened, as she sent Saga a pitied look. "You see, Saga-san? Why have you when he could have me? After all…he did get me this ring, instead of you."

The ravenette shifted his gaze to Ritsu, who was at a loss for words. He looked completely lost, and when emerald eyes met his hazel gaze, the brunette turned his head down in shame.

Saga had seen enough.

He stormed out of the room, making sure to slam the door in the process. The thought of the brunette following him occurred, and he hastily got out his phone.

To: Ritsu

Don't you even fucking follow me, you piece of shit. We're through. Oh, and you don't have to worry about seeing me at school. I'm moving soon in a few days anyways. Surprised? Good. You weren't the only one playing with someone, you know.

-S.M

After sending the message, he couldn't help but feel guilty at the lie. It was true that he was going to move in a few days, but he didn't tell the brunette out of fear that he might break up with him. He would do his best to get an apartment, and stay nearby, but now he saw that that was no longer necessary. He continued to walk on, disregarding the sound of shattering glass in the background. Why should he care?

He kept the scowl plastered on his face until he found himself in a backstreet alleyway, where he slid down against the wall, and cried.

He cried because the girl was truly beautiful.

He cried because his Ritsu was truly even more beautiful.

He cried because his heart felt broken, and there was no one there to help him.

He cried because he thought that Ritsu had loved him.


He didn't know what time he had gotten home, all he knew was that it had to be at least lunchtime. He didn't even register the fact that his parents were in the middle of the fight. All he remembered was his father's words that still echoed in his head today.

"I can't believe I've put up with you and that lousy ass excuse for a son for all these years! He's not even my child for god's sake! You were having one of your silly affairs, and you went too far!"

That day, Masamune learned three things.

1.) Love doesn't exist.

2.) He wasn't his father's son.

3.) Ritsu was issued to the hospital.

Despite the time, despite all the things he had learned today, he quickly made his way to the hospital, to see his ex-lover's tear-streaked face and frozen-white muscles still slightly wet from the rain. Saga was still wet himself, as he had to make his way through all the rain to get here.

The ravenette wanted to reach out and stroke the freshman's face, and beg him to wake up, so that he could see those bright shining emerald eyes, and that familiar kind smile. And watch as the younger teen assured him that everything was going to be okay.

But he wouldn't. Because Ritsu's heart belonged to someone else. And even though it brought Masamune to tears, to see the boy looking half-dead and pale as a ghost on the white sheets of a hospital bed, it just wasn't his right to get involved.

He did, however, ask how the boy even managed to get issued to the hospital in the first place.

They told him that he had delivered a letter.

And that the letter was his address.

Running home, still soaked to the bone through his trip to the hospital, he gasped for his breath as he stood in front of his old-styled mailbox.

The little red flag was up. Reaching into the box, he pulled out the wet and dry envelope, and rushed it inside, to prevent it from getting wet.

He set it down on his desk, and stared down.

He stared down at the clumsily placed stamp, and his name and address written clumsily on the front.

His name and address written in his handwriting.

Masamune could tell you how long he stared at the envelope, before sighing, and placing it inside of his dress drawer.

He couldn't tell you why he didn't hesitate to pack it, as he took it to his new house with his mother.

He especially couldn't tell you why, after 10 years, 28 year old Takano Masamune kept that letter, unopened and slightly faded in his desk, in his new apartment bedroom.

Stepping into said apartment, he slid off his shoes and coat, and dropped his bag over the couch. Retreating to his bedroom, he walked straight to his desk, and opened up the almost-empty drawer. The drawer that only had one, little thing inside.

The un-opened envelope from his past.

Picking up the old packet, he ran his fingers over the familiar, slightly softened edges from feeling them the past 10 years.

The urge to open the letter had begun to grow on him, and before he knew it, he had a letter-cutter in his hand. Sighing, he wondered why tonight all nights he was opening a letter addressed to him from 10 years ago.

Maybe it's fate?

Cutting open the envelope, he pulled out the paper, and sighed, letting his eyes skim over the slightly faded words.

Fate is a bitch.


"Then, I believe we are done here."

The brunette smiled his classic business-appropriate smile, and stood up to shake the gentlemen's hand.

"I suppose so," he said, giving the man's rough hands a firm yet sturdy shake with his small, softer ones, "it's been a pleasure, Gakken-sama."

The man gave a kind smile to the brunette, and the man knew it was sincere by the way his deep cobalt eyes smiled too. "As well to you, Onodera-sama."

As the men parted ways, the classic business smile faded, and was replaced with a face of cold, jaded features. Onodera Ritsu is your average 25 year old man, handsome, successful, and even has his own family to come home too.

He hated it.

He hated it with all of his heart. At least, the part that wasn't still broken.

As Ritsu walked out of the office – which wasn't even an office really; only a meeting place for important business men – he gazed up at the sky. Illuminated by the pale, white moon, the dark hazy skies were filled with clusters of stars and lights, shining down on the earth with a beautiful glowing effect. It reminded the young male of the astronomy room hidden behind the library in his home.

He hated that too.

He found that he hated a lot of things now. He hated old books that he had loved back in high school. He hated having taking over his father's company, as he never had time for anything. He hated being married to his childhood friend, and having adopted children who view their foster parents as the greatest lovers in the world. He even hates the fake little smiles he has to give to show the world that everything's okay.

But most of all, he hates himself.

Ritsu called a taxi, and plopped himself down in the backseat, mumbling directions wearily as he handed the driver more money than the pitiful chauffeur probably made in a year.

He closed his eyes, and allowed himself to fall into a peaceful slumber.

He had done everything he was told.

After studying abroad in America, he completed his education, and worked hard to make a living. After a while, he found himself on the very top, taking over Onodera Publishing. He had only gotten the promotion a year ago, yet he felt like he had been doing this for ages.

He had then taken his fiancée (or his girlfriend) and made her his wife. It was almost repulsing, knowing that Ritsu was married to An Kohinata, his childhood friend. But…What other choice did he have? They adopted two children, a boy and a girl, both of age 9. They discovered that An had a rare disorder that didn't allow her to have children. But the girl insisted on kids so… His son and his daughter, (or Chi and Akahana) were both beautiful, and Ritsu couldn't help but love them as his own. From the outside, it'd look like Ritsu had the perfect life. On the inside, he was constantly hurting.

After all, how could he be happy when he was still caught up on his high school love?

After ten long years, Saga Masamune still managed to haunt his memories. He heard his voice in the wind, smelled his scent wherever he was, and gazed upon his face in his dreams. The only thing that kept the male going on with this kind of life is the hope that Saga would reply to the letter he had sent him. The letter with the words that had burned themselves into Ritsu's heart forever. The letter without a reply.

The very last letter that they ever exchanged.

He ran up the multiple steps, and down various halls, ignoring the twisting pain in his sides. He threw open his bedroom door, and grabbed his science notebook out of his backpack. Hastily ripping a piece of paper out of the bindings, he grabbed a pencil, and began to write.

He wrote, all the while he sobbed rather loudly, letting out painful cries as he felt the last of his heart break, like his phone. He wrote all the while his cramping hand twitched, causing his already-messy handwriting to seem even more disoriented. He wrote all the while as tears dripped down his cheeks and stained the page, causing random flashes of the light blue margins to mix with the white, certain to leave permanent marks.

Good. Let there be marks.

As he reached the bottom of the page, his tears had ceased, or rather ran out. He panted with his voice hoarse and his throat sore from all the crying. His nose had dried up, and was lessened to simple nonchalant sniffling.

He didn't reread this letter. He didn't bother to proof-read, or punctuate, or even capitalize. It was a disgrace for a freshman like himself, and one glance at it would put shame to kindergarteners everywhere. But Ritsu didn't care. After all, whether he had known it or not, the words he had written on the page would haunt him for the rest of his life.

-Dear Senpai,

I know you don't like it when I stall things, so I'll go straight to the point. I know you're upset. And I know it looked like I did something really bad back there. But when I told you that I loved you, I meant it.

I mentioned it, didn't I? Having a girl I was forced to marry? I suppose I could have forgotten to add that in my letters somewhere. But trust me; if it were up to me, I would never marry anyone that wasn't you.

An is a bitch. I know that but…She's very lonely. She just wants attention, and well, I'm just a soft-hearted guy, you know? I can't help but feel bad. I could never leave her, no matter what she did.

I didn't buy her that ring.

Well, actually, I kinda did. I admit that I gave it to her; it was my grandmothers after all. I only gave it to her because she thought it was pretty, and I figured it would just be sitting around collecting dust anyways! But it wasn't an engagement ring! I swear to god!

Please Senpai, you have to believe me. I really do love you.

I have a lot of expectations to fill. My parents expect me to carry over the business one day. They want me to marry An, and have kids, and teach them to take over the family line. They expect me to finish my education, and go through life as a charming, young business man. And up until recently, I knew that that was pretty much the only path for me to follow. But just know that I would have been willing to throw all of that away to be with you.

I love you, Saga Masamune. I love you with all of my heart. And I always will. So if you ever stop by, whether it be in a week, or a month, or even in years, I'll still be madly in love with you. And I promise, I'll always be ready to leave my life and join you so that we can make our own.

I really do love you, you know.

Sincerely,

Ritsu.

He remembered it all. Running to the post office, waking up in the hospital, all of it. And even though it's only been 10 years, it felt like a century to the brunette. He couldn't forget it, any of it. He was still in love, and it hurt to be this way.

Time is a bitch, Ritsu decided.


After a while, the taxi arrived at the gate of the house, and the driver woke up the young business men. Muttering a thank you, Ritsu got out of the vehicle, and advanced towards the house. He punched in the code to the gate, and approached the big, white house.

Putting on his signature fake smile, he advanced towards the doorstep, and knocked on the door. It only took seconds for little thumping noises of feet hitting the door to appear, and the door opening to reveal two young children, looking up at their father in awe.

"Daddy!" they squealed, running at him with hugs and kisses, and little giggles here and there. Ritsu smile and hugged them both, ruffling Chi's wavy chestnut locks, and beaming as he gazed into Akahana's dark, hazel eyes. Looking up, he saw his wife in the doorway, dressed in a simple red dress that matched her lipstick. The siblings ran from their father, and into the house, running like airplanes to the play room.

He greeted his wife with a kiss, and the two walked hand-in-hand into the foyer.

"So, how did the meeting go, sweetie?" An asked, in an attempt to sound seductive.

Ritsu almost barfed.

"It went good." Ritsu replied, sitting in one of the silky green armchairs by the fireplace. "We now have Gakken Co. on our side. Soon enough, we'll be the biggest publishing in the world." He boasted, grabbing a cancer stick the desk table, and lighting one up, a bad habit he had gained over the past few years.

He watched as his wife sat down in the chair facing his, and smiled happily. "That's great, honey!" she commented, even though he knew she wasn't really listening. He took a long drag of his cigarette, and exhaled as his two children ran into the room, giggling and laughing as they played together.

He loved the little ones, don't get him wrong, but Ritsu forced a smile on his face when the two jumped on his laugh, swarming him with slobbery kisses, and wet noses. He forced a laugh as well, and kissed them both on their foreheads.

"How was school today?" He asked, not really interested but wanting to seem polite.

"It was awesome! Some kid brought in his pet snake, and it almost bit the teacher!" Chi announced with a goofy grin, but then frowned when he continued. "Akahana and all the other girls were scared, but I stood right in front of her and told her I'd protect her." He said shyly.

Ritsu forced his smile even wider, and turned to his daughter. "Look at what a great brother you have." He said, and laughed when she blushed as well. They started to bicker over something Ritsu couldn't quite understand, and he was right about to separate them, before something caught the corner of his eye.

Or rather, someone did.

A most familiar someone, one he hadn't seen in years, but was no doubt the same person, standing outside of the gate, and staring right back up at him.

"Honey?" his wife questioned, looking at him with puzzled eyes.

Realizing that he had been staring for a while, Ritsu shook his head lightly, and turned back to his wife with a smile. "Sorry, I forgot. I have to meet someone important tonight." He said, picking up his children and setting them on the ground.

"I'll be back," he said, and kissed An on the cheek before grabbing his jacket and walking casually out of the room. When he was out of sight, he ran down the halls, cursing as he ran into a godforsaken wall.

He was going to see that person again.

And for once in 10 years, Onodera Ritsu smiled for real.
-


He knew that he shouldn't be doing this.

As Masamune approached the familiar black ornate gate, he gazed up at the big white house in shame.

Why did he wait so long to come back here? Letting his eyes wander, amber orbs settled on a window to the far left of the building, where a young brunette sat in an armchair, smoking away without a care in the world.

Ritsu… The word echoed through his mind, and though he himself was a smoker, he felt a rush of anger at his ex for smoking a cancer stick. He shook his head, and looked down, telling himself that there was no harm in doing this. Ritsu himself said that he was willing to give up everything, no matter when Masamune bothered to return.

But…was that really okay?

Instantly regretting it, his eyes glimmered back to the window, only to have his heart shattered.

Two children, no older than 11 had climbed their way onto the brunettes lap, and were now showering him with kisses and hugs in between their little giggle fits. The ravenette watched as his ex-lover smiled, and kissed them on their foreheads, his lips moving gracefully as he spoke words that were unheard to Masamune. It was only seconds later that the man glanced over, and emerald and amber clashed for the first time in 10 years. The ravenette abruptly turned around, and briskly walked away from the house, discarding his cigarette on the way. All of his hopes on the way here had been shattered, and he felt his heart once again concealed with depression.

Masamune simply didn't belong in his little kouhais life anymore.


Making his inside a small café downtown, he sat down, slumping in his chair. He mumbled an order, slinging his bag over his chair. After receiving his plain, black coffee, he took a sip, gazing at the empty chain facing him. It's not like he didn't try to find a lover. He had, plenty of times. None of them had ever compared to the first, though. He jumped a little when he saw pale, nimble fingers wrap around the rim of the lounger.

"This seat taken?"

Masamune didn't even have to ask to know who was speaking to him.

Slowly looking up, the ravenette took in a slightly tall and lean male with a charming, handsome face; carved by dark caramel locks. The male wore a business suit that looked high-class, and he smiled a perfect smile. Too perfect of a smile, Masamune decided. Besides, despite the male's carefree appearance, he saw the ice hidden behind those big green eyes of his. And as many times as he told himself to calm down, he couldn't help but think that his ex, his Ritsu, was standing right there.

Realizing he was staring, he shifted his gaze to his coffee, and gave a soft nod. The brunette settled himself in the seat across from the ravenette, and cocked an eyebrow in amusement. "You always struck me as a black type of person." He spoke, a thin layer of nervousness lining his words. Masamune let out a chuckle, as he pushed up his glasses. "I could never even imagine you drinking coffee."

It was Ritsu's turn to laugh then, and Masamune was delighted to hear that it wasn't fake too. "You're right. I prefer beer," he stated, and the older editor could almost sense the smirk on his face.

The two then settled into a pleasant, almost nostalgic silence, as Masamune sipped his coffee, his gaze pointed towards the floor.

"You look good." Ritsu complimented, trying to start a conversation.

"You do too…" Masamune replied.

"You're not even looking at me!"

"Well, I was earlier."

The silence continued, and Ritsu ran a hand through his hair. He was tired, and wanted nothing more than to go to bed. But there was no way he was leaving before he got to talk with his old Senpai more.

He still loved him, anyways.

Masamune, on the other hand, had other thoughts. Did Ritsu follow him here? Was he waiting for him to ask him out or something? He couldn't wrap his head around it. Especially since the man already had a beautiful wife, and beautiful children.

What else could the brunette want?

"So…You have children now?" Masamune asked, inwardly cursing himself at the sound of how desperate and jealous his voice sounded.

"Oh, hai!" Ritsu responded, nodding as well. "They're names are Chi and Akahana. They're both nine."

"That's nice." Takano retorted coldly, taking a sip of his coffee. Ritsu sighed, and looked down sadly.

"You know…They aren't really An and mine…We adopted them."

Startled, Masamune looked up at the down brunette, and felt guilt bite at his insides.

"An has a disorder that doesn't allow her to have children. We never…slept together. I can promise you that." Ritsu said, meeting the other man's gaze. Masamune stared at him, relief rushing over him on the inside, but he managed to keep a cool complexion on the outside.

"It's not like it's any of my concern." He spat, taking a sip of his coffee. Ritsu sent him a small smile, a fake one that made Masamune's blood boil. Why was he naturally faking something like that? "I know," the brunette said, "I just felt that you should know that I'm still into you." The ravenette almost spit his coffee out, and struggled to swallow. He stared at his ex in awe, as a serious, stern expression washed over the latter's face. Oh how Masamune wanted to kiss him then and there, take him far away, so that they could never come back. Unfortunately, Masamune had his pride, and cleared his throat.

"I can't say I feel the same." He all but whispered, but by the look of grief that struck the brunettes face, he knew that the other had heard. The previous silence came back, but it wasn't long before Ritsu let out a little fake chuckle. "I know that much, Saga-san." He replied. "That's why you never replied to my letter, right?"e He

This hit a chord in Ritsu. Having only opened the letter today, he felt extremely guilty for making the other wait, even if he did hurt him. "My names Takano now…" was all he could so.

"Oh, sorry. Excuse me then, Takano-san."

It was awkward for a while. The two sat there, staring at the floor, neither brave enough to speak. Both were equally nervous, and for the first time in 10 years, they felt warm and fuzzy at the latter's company. Masamune frowned, and before he knew it, words he never meant to say were spilling out of his mouth.

"Did you really mean what you said in that letter?"

Ritsu looked taken-aback, and blinked before replying, "Of course I did. Everything I ever wrote in my letters was true!"

"Hm." The other male hummed.

Masamune leaned back into his seat, and stared at the brunette. A small blush appeared on said man's face, and the older editor couldn't help but chuckle. Ritsu looked away, but couldn't help but shudder at the feeling of amber eyes staring into his soul.

"I-I…." he stuttered, shifting in his seat uncomfortably, " I…I mean, you probably don't know this, but the letters I sent you always came from a very special place."

Masamune cocked an eyebrow. A special place?

"A-Anyways," Ritsu continued, "even if you don't feel the same, just know that I could never forget you. These last ten years…they were a living hell. I never thought I'd see you again. So when I saw you outside my gate, I…I got excited. I got hopeful and well, I couldn't resist coming here to talk to you. Even if we don't…hook up, you don't know how happy it's made me to be able to see you again." He smiled with tears brimming in his eyes, and as far as Masamune could tell, the smile was as real as it gets. He opened his mouth to respond, but stopped as the brunette stood up, and pushed his chair in.

"It's getting late, I ought to get home." The younger male stated, shining his genuine smile at the ravenette. He turned around, and was about to walk out the door before he was stopped.

"Wait!" Masamune shouted, standing up abruptly.

Ritsu did as he was told, and faced the older male with a questioning gaze.

"You said that your letters came from a special place…Weren't they just mailed from your school?"

Another smile found its way to the brunettes face, and he shook his head. "I wasn't talking about where they were delivered, I meant where they actually came from." Ritsu said, and placed a hand on his chest, right over his heart. "They came from here," he announced proudly, "from the deepest, most inner core where only one person had ever managed to go."

Masamune gaped as the brunette quickly approached him, and planted a kiss on his cheek.

"That spot's still yours, you know, if you ever want it." Ritsu said, smiling as he turned, and walked out of the doors of the café all too soon. Masamune struggled to pay for the drink, and practically slammed a ten on the table before sprinting out of the café. Looking around frantically, he spotted his ex, walking casually up to a taxi, and climbing in. Amber eyes watched as the taxi drove away, until it was out of sight.

That was the last time for a while that Takano Masamune ever personally saw Onodera Ritsu.

Of course, he'd see him on the television or in the papers for the publishing company. But every night, at around the same time as the last, he would go to the very café he had seen the younger male, and wait, desperately hoping that the brunette would show. And of course, he would keep waiting. He was in love, and nothing could stop that.

So when he saw the very same person he had been waiting for show up at the café nearly 3 weeks later, you can imagine how much his heart leaped in joy. They shared calm, yet professional conversation, and Masamune found himself chickening out. He still felt it wrong to take Ritsu from his family, his job, and his world.

Eventually, it became a normal thing for the two to meet up at the café. They'd share laughs, and stories, and sometimes even memories of high school. But they never got too close. They were friends, but that was all.

They both had internally decided that they didn't belong in the others world. Takano, as he refused to take Ritsu away from his family, and Onodera as he knew Masamune was busy enough with work as it was, and he didn't want his feelings to burden the man. Because even as they laughed, and smiled through their conversations, and their lives couldn't possibly be more different, the two held close a very similar thought every time they met.

Both time and fate were bastards in their own ways.

But love was one goddamn son of a bitch.


Yup. That's it.

Review? No? Okay. Whatever.

Well, thanks for reading. I'd like to thank you all for your support, and for putting up with my bullshit.

It's been fun.