Author's Note: A sequel to 'Blood and Tears', but a reading of that story is not really required for you to understand the events that occur here.

This fic was written in the hopes to illustrate the unique bond between Lucy and Aiko; a friendship that transcends words.

By the Dawning Sun

"It doesn't matter. Looks don't matter, they never do…and they never will. What matters is who you are inside, for your heart and soul will always remain as the burning candle that lights up the darkness."

That was what you said to me all those years ago.

I have finally fulfilled my promise to you…you can rest in peace now. I made sure that they suffered a worse fate than you did, that they all died screaming…a punishment they had to endure for taking your precious life away.

But…why do I still feel so…empty? There's this void deep inside my heart, a black hole. Nothing has been able to fill it…not since the day you were taken away from me.

I guess I would never know where exactly they…buried you. What they actually did with you, with your blood on their hands. That regret would be with me as long as I live, Aiko. I just need to see you once more, give you a proper burial…a burial by the cherry blossoms, by the dawning sun. You were a nature-lover, I recall. You were always so mesmerized by all the natural beauty around us.

It was a cool morning today, still dark in the absence of the sun. I was thinking about you last night again, you see, and I could not sleep…so I decided to take a walk before the sun came up

Somehow, instinct has brought me here, back to the place we were together so long before. Truth to be told, I was a tad bit surprised why I ended up there in the end. It was almost as if there was an unconscious hand guiding me to this very place once more.

After all those years…it feels so strange to see that whitewashed building once more. An odd wave of emotions overcame me, a mixture of love and hate, of happiness and misery. The memories pervading my mind seem as fresh and raw as before.

I concentrate on breathing, trying to calm my jittery nerves. It has been such a long time since I dared to come to this place…the place where our souls were torn apart. Yet, seeing this building once more, it is almost as if nothing has changed…as if time itself had paused, and when I walk into that building once more, I would see you again with a beautiful smile on your face.

I try to will my feet to move forward. In the glow of the dawning light, it almost seems…hopeful. Cheerful, even, at the start of a new day.

So unlike the bitterness that had consumed my heart since the day you…died. All my thoughts of you are filled with your smile…of you dying in my arms. I so desperately want to see you smile once more, to tell me that everything will be fine…and yet all I see is your tearful face…feel nothing but your heartbeat growing slower, weaker.

And I can only ask…why?

Why can't I…see you? Why can't I sense your cheerful presence anymore? All I recall is your last smile…the final heart-wrenching smile that tore through the distance between us, the smile that connected our hearts like never before, the smile that made our hearts become one.

I sank to my knees, head in my hands.

"Oh, Aiko…" I whispered quietly, a sheen of tears forming in my eyes. "Please…I miss you so much…" As I started to sob silently, I felt the first warm rays of the rising sun fall upon my skin.

And then suddenly, like an angel in the night brightening up the sky, I heard your voice once more. Your cheerful voice, clear as a bell, calling my name.

I sat up in shock. Drying my eyes, I got back on my trembling feet and gazed past the grassy plains…at the beautiful cherry trees that had begun to bloom. I closed my eyes and took in the scent of fresh spring air. As a gentle breeze began to blow, I heard your familiar voice carried upon the zephyrs, caressing me as it had all those years before.

"I'm here, Lucy. I'm always around. We will never be separated…we never have been. I will be your friend forever and always."

It was clear to me then, like crystals in the starry night, like rain in the morning sky. You were around me all along…Alive.


I never realised it then but I do now.

You never did leave my side. You were always there all around me, masquerading behind nature's cloak, where I was too blind to see.

But my sight is clear now.

I can see your beautiful spirit dancing among the blossoming flowers, hear your angelic laugh carried upon the voices of the wind, glimpse your endearing smile shining within fresh morning dew.

A bright, hopeful smile now, free of all the pain.

And tomorrow will be a brighter day, a day filled with hopes, dreams and possibilities...for I know you'll always be around me, now tomorrow and forever.

"Thank you, Aiko…" I whisper with tears brimming in my eyes, allowing my voice to be carried upon the light breeze, to the paradise I know you reside now.

With my vision blending into a kaleidoscope of beautiful colours that danced before my eyes, I welcomed the last shaft of the dawning sun. And reflected perfectly in those sunshine rays, I saw your beautiful smile, the smile that welcomes me, just like before, into your embrace.

"Thank you…"

Thanks for readinng, my friends! I hope you enjoyed it~ Please drop a little review? :) It will make me so happy haha. ^^