I do not own Aburatsubo (no matter how much I wish I did) or any of the rest of Mahou Tsukai Tai. I hope you like my ficlet

I stand off to the side, trying to catch my breath. Absent mindedly, I brush my maroon hair out of my eyes as I straighten up again. The tennis coach is coming towards me. "I have to get to another meeting, sensei," I say, knowing it's no use. I twirl my racket as he comes closer.

"Come on, you have to finish up the set!"

"Sensei, please, Takeo is expecting me, I'm already late."

"One more round. Just one more. Don't forget you need my recommendation for a good collage."

I sigh, knowing he's right as always. Only one more round, I can do that easily. I'm one of the best players in tennis club and when properly motivated, I can get things done fast. I take position, waiting for the serve. The game is frenzied, I want to win quickly and my opponent doesn't want to lose. Only one of us is going to be happy about the outcome. I practically dive into the swing. The ball rockets away from me and I feel a ripping in my ankle. The other boy can't return, I win. But I can't enjoy it. The coach and several members of my personal, unwanted fan club rush over and help me up. I cry out in pain as I try to move my ankle. It's badly sprained. The others help me to a bench where I sit as they wrap and ice my sore leg.

"Aya-sama! Are you all right?"

"Aburatsubo, how does it feel? Can you stand? Do we need to call the nurse?"

I shake my head. "It's just a sprain. It'll be fine, thank you." Stupid. I should never have gotten injured; I wouldn't have if I'd been focused. Slowly, I stand and start to hobble to the locker room. "Blessed silence," I mutter as the throng of people following me is forced to wait outside. All to soon, I'm changed and on my way to the magic user's club. Reluctantly I let one of the girls carry my books while another acts as a human crutch. I get to the room and slide open the door to see Takeo standing there. "Konnichiwa, Takeo-kun! What are we doing today?"

"Well, I just sent the girls out to the yard. We're going to try some physical enhancement, you know, speed, strength, that sort of thing." He noticed my ankle. "Are you all right, Aburatsubo?"

I sigh. "No, I don't think I'm going to be able to stay today."

"Don't worry about it, I'll be fine with the girls. You go home and take care of that."

I don't even have the strength to hug him. He sounds so happy to be with just the girls and not me. I vaguely nod and say goodbye. I wish I could fly home, but there are too many people still hanging around me. Eventually I manage to part from the group. It's slow going on the way home; my ankle is really throbbing by this time. So stupid! A dumb injury that's keeping me from my Takeo-kun. I sigh as I reach my house. The walk took more than twice as long as usual. Slowly I move to the kitchen and get some more ice. I make a snack and sit down to work on my homework. There isn't much and I finish practically as soon as I begin.

The math problems are the most boring. At the last one, I begin to think of Takeo. He'd sounded...happy. Almost relieved that I wasn't going to stay for the meeting. And he was there, at school, with the girls, doing who knew what. A tear hit the book. Followed by another. I finish the problem and close the book. Slowly I go upstairs. No one's home yet, but that's fine with me. I don't want to be bothered right now.

My room is cold. And my bed seems harder than usual. It's rejecting me too...But my pillow is warm and soft, it always is. Alone in the dark, I let my tears free and cry. I cry for quite a while, just like always. When my tears have finally run dry, I turn over onto my back. I don't want dinner, I'm just going to go to sleep. And another dream will come, just like always. It will be me and my Takeo, together and alone. I will be in heaven for the few moments that we are together and then he will lean over to kiss me. I want to feel that kiss so much, even if it is only a dream. But he will come so close, then turn away and reject me. Just like always. Just like every night for years. I will wake up after that and know that it was just a dream, my Takeo-kun would never hurt me like that. But it's true that he would reject me, just like the dream, just like always. I will roll over, trying to get back to sleep, but just like every night, the dream will keep me up. And my pillow will feel even more tears flow into it, trying to wash away the memory. I will cry like that until the tears stop coming, then I might sleep. But I hope not, because the dream will come again. And I will wake. And I will cry.

Just like always.

A/N  Greetings and hello. Isn't this such a sad fic? T_T Ah well, hope you liked it. Thanks to you reviewers who read the original version. They caught my bad spelling and I remembered that I hadn't been able to run spell check. Anywho, thanks for the catch, I hope this version's better. And I hope you like this and all my other fics.