Is there something more important than one's life?

Is love really never ending?


±±±±±± The Cold that Burns ±±±±±±


Eagerly, Takahashi Misaki grabbed his black crayon and began scratching hard on the white piece of paper. He did it without any direction. Just a messy way of coloring, any eight year old his age would normally do.

Takahiro was busy reviewing his notes for the entrance interview for Mitsuhashi University when he darted his eyes at his little brother sprawled on the floor.

"Misaki...what are you doing? You're holding the crayon too hard, it'd break."

The little boy gazed up with a frown. "Nii-chan, Okaasan and Otosan, where are they?"

The teen smiled. Probably because his brother just missed their parents who've been in a business meeting for a week that was why the green-eyed angel of their house was acting a little weirdly.

"They'll be returning tomorrow," Takahiro replied, removing his eyeglasses to take a short break. "I'm sure they brought you many presents..."

Misaki didn't nod or showed any sign of excitement. The little boy just stared at his master piece undone. Curious, Takahiro moved closer to his brother. He looked down at the drawing Misaki has been doing for quite sometime now and it caught him somehow, stunned.

It wasn't colorful. It wasn't cute. It wasn't even a picture a normal Misaki would do.

"Misaki...what...what is this?"

Takahiro picked the paper from the tatami floor and stared at it. It was a drawing of their entire family. Him, little Misaki and their parents. But behind their parents were shapeless figures. Black and messy and scary.

"What are these things behind them?" he gently asked, pointing at the stick figures of their parents.

Misaki threw the crayon on the floor and it rolled towards the Kotatsu silently.

"Nii-chan, those black things are following them."

"Huh?"

Little Misaki frowned even more. "Those black things are following Okaa-chan and Otou-chan. At first they're far, but they look like they're so close already..."

Takahiro felt a little creeped out by his brother's story that he forced himself to giggle. "Tsk...tsk...that's what you get from sleeping so late. You're starting to see things."

Little Misaki stood and looked like he was about to cry. "Nii-chan...I talked to them."

Looking more confused, Takahiro sighed. "Talked to who?"

"Those black thingies..."

"Huh?"

"I asked them...what they want..."

"Eh..." Takahiro didn't know what to do whether he should just tag along with Misaki's creepy story. So he just went with the flow, after a few seconds of deciding. "And? What did you talked about?"

"The black thing following Okaasan...it told me if I don't want her to disappear, I could give my sense of hearing instead..."

"Huh?!" Takahiro blurted. That was one of the most ridiculous things he heard. And there he was expecting Misaki should give his life in return. At this point, he wasn't still believing his little brother's story, that was why he could still entertain the idea.

"And then..." Misaki started shaking. "And then the black thing following Otou-san said I could save him by giving him my left leg."

The older brother smiled comfortingly. He finally came up with the reason why Misaki was being like this. Probably a weird dream the young boy had. And little kids have very crazy and wide imaginations that they mistake dreams for reality.

Takahiro reached for the boy's hand and squeezed it. "It's not true Misaki. It's just a dream..."

The little boy gazed at Takahiro's eyes, searching. In his huge green orb, Takahiro felt this feeling that the boy also wanted to believe that it was just a dream.


"It's just a dream..." Takahiro chanted. He chanted over and over as he stood in front of their parent's grave stones.

Without them knowing, as him and little Misaki was talking about the black things the kid was saying, their parents who should have gone back to Tokyo the next morning, decided to travel that night instead.

The business meeting ended earlier than what was expected and the two couldn't stand being far long gone from their children. So off the two drove in the middle of the night. And at the highway, collided with a truck being driven by a drunk driver.

Instantly, Takahiro and Misaki had become orphans.

"I should have given them what they wanted...I should have..." Takahiro heard. When he looked down beside him, his little brother, hiccupping, crying, holding to the hem of his suit was there. "Nii-chan...I should have given them what they wanted..."

The older brother gazed around the cemetery where hundreds and hundreds of other Haka were present. They were alone. The people who attended the funeral long gone. After their parents' remains had been cremated, they decided to take it right away to the cemetery. And looking at their family grave was the strongest reminder that he and his brother were alone in the world.

"Nii-chan...it's my fault! I didn't save them!"

Takahiro gritted his teeth and knelt before his brother, holding the little boy on his frail shoulders.

"It's not. It's no one's fault..." he replied. He didn't want to believe his brother. But what good would it make? "If what you said is true I am sure, Okaasan and Otousan wouldn't want you to sacrifice anything...there's nothing to be done."

Little Misaki knew that his brother still didn't believe him. So standing there with him in the silence, the little boy vowed, that he'd be willing to sacrifice anything if any person important to him would be in danger.

Even if by doing so would break him into many pieces, literally.


"What do you want?"

Takahashi Misaki, an incoming university freshmen whispered, following a little girl on his way home. After all these ten years that passed, the young male had learned to turn a blind eye to the many things he could see.

He turned his back to the many people he knew was about to die. But even so, he wasn't that cold hearted. If the thing that shadow was asking was within Misaki's ability, he tries to do it. But most of the time, what these shadows were asking in return, there was no way Misaki could give them.

"I want a pigeon's blood." That was the thing the previous shadow asked in return for leaving an old lady. Misaki obliged despite him crying himself when he wrung the poor bird's neck himself.

But this time, the shadow following the girl was being silent.

"What do you want? Why are you following the girl?" Misaki continued muttering. If anyone saw him like that, they'd think that Misaki was a phedophile aiming for a little girl about to go home from elementary school.

"I want your eyes..."

Misaki stopped.

Misaki watched the little girl go away. Misaki watched the girl with a painful tightening in his chest.

He couldn't. He couldn't give that thing. Who could blame him for that?

No matter how much he wanted to save the innocent girl, Misaki couldn't do it. He was just human after all. And so Misaki knew that the little girl's memory despite being a stranger to him,will be added to the many souls he wasn't able to help.

The shadows that Misaki could see, were nothing more than beings that causes untimely death. The people they follow shouldn't die yet, it wasn't their time in the first place. But once they attatch themselves to a certain person, they stick to them. They strike whenever they feel like it. Thus bringing an accident and a sure death.

They were nothing but a hideous evil to Misaki.

"Why am I given this thing?" Misaki thought. The setting sun coloring the park and the streets around Misaki a sorrowful orange. It was as if a screaming color of blame to Misaki's pure heart.


As far as his eyes could go, Misaki just stood there. Like a ritual he developed when he was growing up.

How many people have he seen in the crossroads surrounding the park, the nursery school and the neighborhood? Countless. Countless people, countless lives that only Misaki could see fading one by one. It was frustrating, and saddening at the same time.

"What's the use of seeing them if I could do nothing about them...?" Misaki sighed as he was staring into space. Feeling that silent afternoon glow, slowly fading. How he wished he wouldn't have to see another one for the day. He might not be able to sleep again.

But life could be very cruel, like what they say.

The boy was about to start his walk towards his home, when the wind suddenly blew harder. A piece of paper landed perfectly before his feet as if it was sure that was its purpose. Looking at it, Misaki decided to pick it up.

"He stood alone under the beautiful sky..." the boy read it to himself. A writing so fine and elegant as if it was stroked with great care. "Gazing into nothingness, staring faraway, his eyes were saying goodbye...?" Misaki flipped it around, turned it upside down and saw nothing else. "Is this a poem? What's it doing here?"

The boy looked around, his green eyes darting from the empty afternoon park, the empty streets and the closed nursery.

"You flew to me like this...you should come from somewhere..." Misaki muttered as if the paper would reply.

Behind a number of trees then came a rustling. A sound of something like a metal grazing the dirt and rolling on small rocks. When the teen turned to look, the first thing he saw was a wheel. A wheelchair. And came the figure of a man on it.

"Eh..." Misaki stared openly at the little black notepad on the man's lap. "I guess this is his?"

Misaki crossed the white parallel lines, going to the man at the other side of the street where the small park was. Politely, Misaki offered the piece of paper.

"Ano...this...is yours I guess?"

The man scowled at Misaki, grabbing the paper with force before sticking it in between the pages of his notepad.

"What the hell? I returned it properly and he gives me a glare?"

The man had a deep violet hue for his eyes. Which contrasted the orange of the setting sun. Truthfully, it was painful to look at.

Without saying anything, the man on the wheelchair pressed on his armrest, about to leave. But instead an angry whir came to both of them.

"What's wrong now?" the man grumbled, looking at the side of his automatic wheelchair.

Misaki started frowning deep inside. The guy was rude, but he couldn't leave a handicapped person in the park with an unmoving wheelchair could he?

"Uhm...I could...help you push it? Where do you live...Sir?"

"Do I look like I need your help?!" the man who was still looking at the either side of his chair spat, not even glancing at Misaki.

Misaki had enough of the man's annoying behavior that the teen ran towards the back of the chair and started pushing it slowly.

"What are you doing?!" the man shouted, looking up at the teen who was smiling sarcastically as he was nearing the pedestrian lane.

"You look like you need help sir. So allow me..."

The man glared for a few seconds and then sighed, resigning his fate into the teen's hands.

"So...where are we headed to?" Misaki urged, masking a polite tone even when all he wanted was throw a fit.

"I have my car at the nursery parking lot," finally, the man replied a little more in a humane manner.

Misaki smiled, feeling a little calmer now that the man was being a bit more cooperative. As he was slowly pushing the wheelchair in the silent neighborhood, Misaki looked down at the notepad on the man's lap.

"U.A...?" Misaki thought. "Initials? Is he a writer? Well that would explain his poem earlier...haha...ashamed to let someone see such cheeziness?"

As they continued their silent journey, Misaki noticed a little dry leaf on the man's head. The boy carefully removed it so as not to make the man feel anything. But the man looked up, questioningly.

"Ah...this is sticking in your head..." Misaki apologized while waiving the leaf in the air. "...sorry...that's weird."

"Give it to me."

"Huh?"

"That, give it to me."

With a dumbfounded expression, the boy gave the brown leaf to the man's outstretched hand. "What the hell would he do with that?"

"Sir...uhm...I don't think this is a polite thing to ask but..." the boy grabbed the handles tighter. "Have you always been in a wheelchair?"

"It is NOT a polite thing to ask," the man replied, looking straight ahead.

"..."

"But no...I just got into this stupid thing two months ago."

"Accident?" Misaki asked, for some reason curious.

"No...it just happened. No doctor could say what's wrong and I could just hope that I would return to normal. I hate being pitied."

Misaki forced a laugh. "Uwah...if anything Sir, whether you sit on this, you don't give an air like that!"

The boy didn't see it, the smile the man made before wiping any expression on his face. "You're a weird one."

After that, the man didn't say anything anymore, but there was an air of something sweet at the man's back that Misaki found it relaxing. Well Misaki could understand. Being not used to a thing like that would make any man's head a pot of anger.

They finally reached the lot where only one car was parked. Still from afar, Misaki could already see a man in a suit hurriedly running towards them. Probably the man's driver.

"Thanks. You don't need to take me towards my car. My driver is already approaching. You can go home," the man looked up. "It's getting dark."

"EH?" that caught Misaki off guard. "It's nothing. O-okay..."

Misaki turned around. Clutching his chest. For some reason, his heart was violently thumping inside his ribs. He could clearly hear it. So as natural as he could, he walked away. But something forced him to stop and turn to look.

And that was when Misaki noticed the familiar thing he didn't want to see anymore.

A dark shadow as if surrounding the man's legs. It wasn't there earlier. Why was it there now?

"Why?" Misaki asked. "What do you want?" the boy whispered.

Misaki readied himself for that familiar sensation he was so accustomed to as the shadow came rushing towards him. Everything around stopped. Time, space and movement, they suddenly didn't have their hold into the world. A world a color of grey. A world where only Misaki and the unusual shadow were real.

"You weren't there earlier..."

The dark shadow whirled around Misaki as if looking down on the teen. "I am different. I can hide, I can appear whenever I want to..." it wasn't a voice of a female or a male. The teen couldn't place it. It was just a voice so chilly Misaki wanted to hurl.

Misaki threw a glance at the immobile silverhaired man on the wheelchair and at his driver trying to help him get in his car stuck in a stopped time. And then he followed the movements of the black smoke circling him.

"You...you are the reason that man suddenly couldn't walk..."

"I am...I am dragging him down, binding his legs...because I want to..."

Misaki drew a deep breath. "What do you want?"

"I don't know yet. You who can see us, don't mistake me for the usual ones you see..."

"What do you want?!"

"I'll tell you once it's complete...just pray to whatever gods you have that I wouldn't get bored and just take his life suddenly...so kid..." the voice of the shadow paused, gigling. "If you want to be a hero...hurry up..."

"Hurry up with what?"

But the shadow rushed back to his host in the person of the silverhaired man and disappeared.

In an instant, the shadow was gone and everything returned to normal. The leaves on the trees were swaying. The grey had turned to the normal hue of the incoming night. And the boss and his driver was back to moving into the car.

"What do I do? That shadow...is weird..."

For some reason, the man who was already inside the backseat of his car turned to look at Misaki. Just very faintly, there was no mistaking it, the man smiled and raised a hand. The older man's unsure way of waiving looked sad and hopeful.

"..." Misaki found himself waiving back with a nod.

That simple gesture from that man, made Misaki feel that he just couldn't rest until he finds out what the shadow wants. At least he wanted to know if what it wants was something in his ability. And if not, then at least he tried.

That time...Misaki was only seeing the silverhaired man as another human needing a help without him knowing. He didn't know it would bloom to something else.


It was hard to explain how it happened. Just like how unexplainable things in the world existed, Takahashi Misaki and the man on the wheelchair had become close enough to talk about things under the sun.

It was a wonder though, why the man who introduced himself as Usami Akihiko was always there in that park, very early. He would always be there, in his wheelchair with his notepad, gazing blankly into space.

"Usami-san, konnichi wa...what are you looking at?" Misaki asked, standing behind the man's wheelchair.

The man wheeled his chair to face the front and gave Misaki a paper bag. "Here..."

Misaki gave a curious look at the man before taking the bag. The teen peered inside and exclaimed. "Uwah...croquettes?! This is a favorite! But..." Misaki looked at Usami once more. "What's this for?"

Tapping his fingers on his armrest, Usami looked away. "I've never really thanked you properly the first time we met...I was rude yet you still acted nicely..."

The teen laughed. "Ah...To tell you the truth I was nearly screaming at you...but I'm glad we're friends now! But...I'm surprised you got this..."

"You always eat that on your way home..." Usami mumbled.

"Hai?"

Usami shrugged. "Nothing. Eat it while its hot."

Munching on the crunchy exterior of the croquette, Misaki's green eyes darted from the man's face slowly to his legs. Those legs that were still binded by a shadow which was so undecisive. Somehow, starting to be this close with the man, the thought that someday, this man would disappear wouldn't just sink into him no matter how he tried.

The night sky was getting dimmer. The air getting chiller. The mood getting calmer and both male found it hard to just move yet. Usami remained seated on his wheelchair, while Misaki was sitting with his eyes up the sky while he was almost laying on the concrete bench.

"Misaki..."

Almost all of a sudden, the boy from his slouching position on the bench sat properly. Being called in that kind of voice, with his first name of top of that sent chills down his spine for some reason. If it was somebody else, the teen knew he would make a scene. However, a part of him felt even happy to hear it.

"I've been having some weird dreams..." Usami started, glancing at the boy before looking at his notepad.

"Dreams? Like...?"

"Like one day, I was going alone with my wheelchair and then all of a sudden it lost control and I headed towards a running cargo track..." Usami smiled a little. "Sending my wheelchair into pieces, and me dead."

The boy's chest constricted. It was hard to breathe. It was a scary thought. It was even more frightening because Misaki knew, they weren't dreams. It could be a premonition.

"I have never told anybody else this, even my doctor. But honestly...I'm scared...these things going are happening without explanation."

Misaki looked away and started making a circle with his foot. "That's just a dream..." Misaki smiled in disgust as he was sounding like an adult who understood nothing.

Usami sighed, closing his eyes as he inhaled the night breeze. Some dog barking from a distance. A faint laughter from a house nearby, the sound of cars running and if you paid closer attention, you'd be able to hear even the trains running in the rush hour.

"Me losing my feel with my feet, I felt depressed...but now? I even feel thankful."

"Thankful?"

Opening his eyes, Usami reached for Misaki's cheek. Brushing his thumb on the soft skin ever so slightly. "I met a friend."

"Friend?" The boy touched the hand on his face and rubbed it comfortingly. "Yeah...I guess so..." That smile Misaki had on his lips was trembling. As if he wasn't satisfied with that word.

"I really want to be able to walk soon, then I could go places and invite that special person I've always been watching."

"Special...person? Could that be..." Misaki had gone to whispering. "Someone...someone you like?"

The man nodded.

Misaki blinked as if something snapped inside him. He brushed the hand on his face away and started pretending fixing his shoe laces.

"Thump. Thump. Thump."

In the boy's mind, there was this wooden chest. A chest he knew that appeared ever since meeting Usami Akihiko. But he igored it. He ignored it all this time because he wasn't ready to entertain the idea. That the reason Misaki chose to stick around was because he was...

"Special person...? Misaki thought, tying and untying his lace. "Why do I feel irritated?"

Misaki decided to force shut the chest once again.

When Misaki finished his deed, Usami Akihiko was just smiling at him.

"What?"

"Nothing...did you feel a little jealous just now?"

The boy's eyes went from dumbfounded to confused to shocked. "HA? J-jealous? What about?"

"You know...since having those dreams...I've realized I could die anytime. So even if this will make you disgusted and hate me...Misaki..."

Usami reached for the boy's hand and squeezed it very tightly. As if trying to convey how strong, how serious, how genuine he was being.

"When I lost my ability to walk, I found this park by accident. And saw you happily eating your croquettes, or sometimes would follow some people while talking to yourself. I was intrigued. I was curious...so I've been watching. I've always been watching..."

The dark had already settled in. The quietness deafening. Misaki's hand felt like it was melting inside the man's strong hold.

"You...make my heart race I couldn't calm down...that's why I was so rigid the first time you talked to me..."

Misaki had his eyes fixed at the lavender ones so hard, his own green orbs were getting teary.

"I'm sorry...I couldn't stop it. I love you."

"I don't know what to say..."

The boy couldn't stop it. Freely, his tears fell from his eyes, that he allowed Usami to pull him into a comforting hug.

"It's alright...don't push yourself too hard...this is just the start..."

"..."

More than being overwhelmed with the confession, Misaki was scared. He was so scared at the giggling he could only hear while both of them, Usami and him had come down to this.

"I want it...Kiddo...after this week..." the voice of the shadow echoed in his mind, almost crushing his skull with its greedy and shrilly laugh. "This is the sweetest thing ever..."

"What do you want!?" Misaki screamed in his head, while finding his slim arms circling protectively around the silverhaired man's back. "I'll give you my eyes, or my legs...whatever you want!"

The voice of the shadow in Misaki's head, just kept on laughing.


A week has passed without Misaki hearing or feeling anything from the shadow following Usami Akihiko. deep inside him, he has this strong hope that this shadow left on its own. But Misaki was sure there was no way that would happen.

That shadow wouldn't leave until it gets what it wants. Or if not, he'd leave with Usami Akihiko's soul with him. Usami would die. Usami would die like everyone else Misaki couldn't save.

And the meer thought was already unbearable.

"This is unnessecarily spacious..." Misaki pretended to sound so cheery. He darted his eyes around the bright living room with a matching smile to fool the searing fright that was growing each day. "You're...quite the rich man...Usami-san..."

Usami Akihiko had invited the teen to his place. Showing the teen around his flat with all his funny collections of stuff toys in all sizes. With the look of excitement in his lavender eyes, Misaki could almost believe, that there was nothing extraordinary at all with the things going.

The man maneuvered his wheelchair towards Misaki in the middle of the living room and grabbed Misaki's hand.

"Consider this place yours too."

"Eh?" Misaki exclaimed. But that was a fail one.

Knitting his brows, Usami reached for the boy's face. "You've been a little...odd..." he commented looking worried. "You should tell me what's bothering you...so I could help you."

Misaki smiled. "No...I'm fine."

But as Misaki was trying to convince himself that he was fine, he really wasn't. As what the shadow told him a week ago kept on eating away at him, leaving him optionless. And in front of Usami, Misaki knelt, sobbing on the man's legs.

"Mi-misaki?" Usami whispered while running his fingers on the boy's hair. "You...what's going on?"


One week ago...

"Unlike the others...I take what's the most important thing from the one who's making the deal..." the voice laughed. "...because this rarely happens...one in a billion!"

In that unmoving space where time wasn't ruling, Misaki remained inside Usami's hug, hugging Usami back tighter with all his might while glaring with pure hatred at the shapeless black figure before him. Like a smoke that circles and whirls, showing who was in charge of the situation, the shadow danced before the green-eyed boy.

"I'm willing to go with you...instead of taking him...Take me!" Misaki shouted angrily. "Take me and release him! Make him walk again!"

Misaki was so surprised at what he was saying. Even him, wasn't so sure if it was his brother, could he throw his life that easily for him? But he was this determined to save this precious life he had come to cherish more than anything else. Even if its just with that short period of time.

"Please...release him?" Misaki whispered. '"I'm begging you...I have failed to save many lives...not this time...Not with him..."

The shadow circled around them. Usami in the frozen time and Misaki, the only being inside that dimension, crying his heart out, swallowing his fears, ready to give up himself.

The shadow kept on circling around the two, as if making fun of them.

"You really don't want him to die that much?"

Misaki gritted his teeth.

"Then...I'll take the most important thing for you..."

Misaki closed his eyes. "If it's the most important thing...then...it's... my life...right?"

The shadow stopped moving and rushed to Misaki's face, making the boy choke at the rush of wind that he wasn't able to breathe for a while.

"No...right now...you're life isn't the most important thing here..."

"Huh?" If the shadow didn't want his life, what then?!

The shadow took a form of a hand and delicately patted the silverhaired man's back. Misaki watched it with horror on his face.

"I want this man's emotion. That strong emotion we cannot understand. That emotion that you humans...call as love."

Misaki looked at Usami's face then at the shadow. He didn't know what the shadow was saying.

"Why...are you asking me of that thing...?"

"Because you're the recipient of that emotion, right? Everyday, everyday, he'd watch you from afar...and that feeling has grown much much sweeter after the two of you had come to this certain understanding. I don't know what's so good about it...but it smells so sweet...it's intoxicating."

Misaki stood, running his gaze from Usami on the wheelchair still frozen in time.

"But if you do that..." Misaki felt his chest was about to burst into million pieces. "If you do that...then..."

"Right...you will be no more than strangers. His memories with you, his emotions for you...I want them all, to the very last drop."

Misaki shook his head in disbelief. "What are you talking about? There's no way...I can stand that..."

"Just say 'forget me Usami"...and the deal is on..."

A life without this man's affection? A life with Usami Akihiko's kindness that will just remain as a dream? Misaki wiped his face with his hand, staring at the man's handsome face. "This is so cruel...why don't you just kill me...?"

"Why? If you do that, this man will finally go back to normal and more than that, he'd probably live for sixty or seventy years more...he's going to live. Like how you wanted."

The boy drew a deep breath. So deep but still wasn't enough to ease the pain in his throat and chest.

"You always have an option. To agree or not. No one's forcing you?" The shadow whirled around once more...as if everything was just a joke. "You could let him live the way he did before meeting you or let him die while loving you. What's so hard about that?"

Let him live the way he did before meeting me? Or let him die while loving me? Misaki had never felt so cold in his life. His whole being seemed to have drenched in ice that his skin started burning. His chest was so cold. It was so cold that the burning sensation within himself was so hot it stings.

"You would never understand you bastard...I pity you...I really pity the likes of you..."

The shadow just laughed. "I am giving you a week...until then...make lots of memories..."


"Misaki, you're really worrying me like this..."

The boy just sobbed on the man's lap as he was making the most difficult decision in his life. Because whatever he chooses, it would end up with himself, hurting so much.

"Usami-san...what if...what if the heart suddenly forgets? What will happen to them?"

Usami gently held the boy's face and made him look up. "What's this?"

Misaki bit his bottom lip. "What if you suddenly had a change of heart?"

"Huh?" Usami brushed his thumbs on the boy's face gently and lovingly. "There's no way that could happen..."

"WHAT IF!" Misaki shouted, already crying and making a mess of himself as he clutched Usami's shirt tightly with his hands. "What if...? Please, tell me?"

The man for a few seconds gazed searchingly at the young face before him and patted the boy on the head with his huge hand. "You know, it's true that love may fade..."

Misaki held his breath.

"...but it will never go away completely. That's why there are things called as 'the second time around'...and as for me...if by any chance something caused me to forget that I love you..." Usami leaned closer. "I know my heart will recognize you right away. It's a complex thing, even us humans couldn't explain precisely. But the one sure thing is love is never ending. Man, woman...for everyone...so Misaki..."

Misaki blinked his tears away as he watched Usami's lips come closer to his.

"...Misaki you have nothing to fear..."

That innocent first kiss, and Usami's words, were the only things that Misaki was holding on to. The boy savoured every bit of the sensation against his sensitive skin. The warmth, the moisture, the heat from their lips together soaring towards his very core.

Foreheads pressed together, Misaki suddenly moved up and planted a kiss on Usami's forehead. It shocked Usami for a few seconds.

"Misaki?"

"I'll hold on to your words Usami-san...and even if you wouldn't remember me, I'd love you from a distance..."

"What are you talking about?"

Misaki inhaled deeply, and breathe out very softly. "You'd live longer...and you'd be able to walk once again..."

"Huh?"

"Forget me...Usami-san..."


The Spring season has ended, and explosions of colors golden, red and yellow painted the entire city. Not long after that came the Winter season, chilly and festive.

All these changes of season remained one thing, Misaki Takahashi always, always would pass by the park where he met his first love. He'd look around, with that helpless and hopeful look. And there were times that he'd suddenly just cry there.

"It's been so long..." Misaki sniffed, tugging at his red scarf wrapped around his neck. "You said you'd recognize me...but where are you?" the boy made a circle on the snow with his foot. "I believe in your words you know?"

The night that Misaki allowed the shadow to take Usami's emotions for him in place of the man's life, the man went into a sort of deep sleep. So the boy creeped his way out completely removing his existence with Usami Akihiko's being.

"You said it's never ending..." Misaki mumbled, a tear falling on the snow. "Ah!" Misaki slapped both his cheeks lightly. "I am still happy, that somewhere, I know you're alive...but it's sad."

Misaki wiped his face with the end of his scarf. His nose red and eyes puffy. Misaki finally realized what it was like to be living while being feeling dead inside.

"I miss you."

Laughters of children filled the chilly afternoon. They were running after one another on the snow covered road, being very energetic.

The crunching of their feet reaching Misaki's ears as he watched them laugh and play around. The boy only wondered why though the kids were already at a far distance, the crunching sound behind him just grew closer. It grew louder.

"Excuse me..." the voice called, tapping Misaki on the shoulder.

When the boy turned around, a can of hot coffee met his eyes. And when he looked up, his hands at the end of his scarf fell to his side.

"My car broke down, and as I am waiting for the mechanics, I noticed you here...aren't you cold?"

The boy's vision just became a blurry mess.

"EH...why are you crying?" the man hurriedly took his handkerchief, trying to wipe the tears on the boy's face delicately. "Why do you always cry here? Everytime I pass this street, you're always there looking depressed..."

"Usami-san..." Misaki whispered in his trembling voice.

Usami's lavender eyes grew wide for a second before sighing. "Warm yourself up...you're freezing..."

The boy with this Usami Akihiko who by strings of fate was still led towards him stood in the middle of the soft falling of snow. With the afternoon filled with Misaki's soft sobs, with a warmth spreading throughout his chest.

Before he was experiencing this kind of cold that was burning in his chest painfully. Now the cold he was experiencing due to the season only intensified this heat burning in him for the happiness that he didn't lose hope.

He ended up crying while laughing in front of the man.

The older man didn't know but he found himself smiling, like something in this was familiar. "You're a weird one..."


"Is love really never ending?"

"It is."

Replied the shadow who had been watching the two humans with interest.

"I still don't understand...but I guess their love is."


end


chapter end notes:

hello everyone! thank you very much for giving this your time! i hope you liked it! and please share your thoughts with me!

funny i was staring into that blinking vertical line in MS word because my head was blank and then this idea hit me. And I just couldn't stop. now i need to sleep...4: 15 in the AM! good thing it's saturday! weeeeeeee!

ε-(´・`) フ ε-(´・`) フ ε-(´・`) フ

-shuusetsu ((。-ω-)zzz...