Notes and Disclaimers:  The following could be a spoiler, so don't read it if you haven't seen the whole series and that sort of thing matters to you.  If you don't care, then by all means, go ahead.  The characters are the original work of Tachiwaka Megumi and are owned by Kodansha and TMS, you guys are the best!

By Stirling Twilight

May we all find a love like Asuka Jr. and Meimi!


After the Fall

Asuka Jr. rubbed his check against her hair again, reveling in the sensation, breathing in her scent. She lay on him, her face still buried in his shoulder, as debris continued to rain down around them. He didn’t ask, or try to make her look up. There was no reason to. It was Her. He had been right. He had known. He smiled, hugged her harder and felt laughter beginning to spill from his soul.

"Saint Tail," he whispered to himself, and then softly laughed at the wonder of it all. "Saint Tail, I love you. I love you, and I’m never going to stop telling you so. Haneoka, my love, my Meimi."

She sniffed softly and he felt her grip his shirt again. He waited, just holding her. She needed time, he could see that. It had been quite a shock, the whole series of events. Not the least of which was the fact that they had just narrowly escaped death. But now it was over. They were safe and alone.

Curious, he glanced around, examining their surrounding. They seemed to be in a church as he could just see a cross, mounted to the far wall. Asuka Jr. looked up again, seeing the blasted hole in the roof where they had broken through and the cold light from the stars beyond. It was amazing that they had survived at all, and they had because of Her. She had, once again, saved him. He tightened his hold on the small thief in his arms in silent thanks.

A movement off to the side drew his attention and he saw Rudy happily bouncing on the melting balloons. Turning back he caught a flash of color from the corner of his eye. It was flaming red hair. The young man smiled again. He couldn’t stop smiling. Suddenly everything was new and delightful.

Turning his face back he took a deep breath and nerved himself to do the thing he had dreamt of since that first night. That first night, so many months ago. She had fallen on him then, a cord wrapped around her ankle. It seemed a lifetime ago. Looking down at the top of her ponytail, Asuka Jr. closed his eyes, steeled himself, and kissed her hair. She was fragrant, soft and warm. Even more so than he had imagined she would be.

It was suddenly easy to do; to kiss her. He pressed his lips down, not moving, just breathing. The whole world could fade away and it wouldn’t matter. He was holding Haneoka Meimi. Saint Tail. The young detective smiled and kissed her again. He decided right then that if he spent the rest of his life kissing her it could never be enough.

Meimi turned her tear-stained face toward his, a bright blush covering her cheeks. The former thief couldn’t make herself met him eyes. She lowered her gaze and he could feel her shaking, very gently, with suppressed fears. He smiled reassuringly and pressed her head to his chest and kissed her again, whispering his love, over and over. Meimi could have been in no doubt as to his feelings and it thrilled her to hear it. She longed to speak, but found no words for him.

Asuka Jr. gently pushed her away, back against the balloon, and in the dim light of the moon looked deep into her eyes. Meimi felt her insides melt into one burning mass. Her hand came up and tenderly brushed his cheek where strands of her hair still clung to some moister there. Had he too been crying she wondered, or had her tears been enough for them both? At her touch the detective turned to her hand and softly kissed her fingertips.

Meimi gasped to see him like this…so very deeply in love. Any fears she had been harboring where suddenly and completely gone. She smiled, and reaching out, caressed his face. Asuka Jr. rewarded her for the pleasure by closing his eyes and lovingly pressing against her palm. His lips were moving and she realized he was saying her name, again and again. The aching in her heart almost made her cry as she moved closer to him, closing the slim distance as if even an inch was to far to be apart. Asuka Jr. opened his eyes long enough to see an eternal flame shining in hers and with a cry of sheer delight threw his arms open and himself back against the balloon.

Meimi laughed then, bobbling gently on the huge pink ball. It was the first sound she had managed since her interrupted apologizes. She pushed herself up onto an elbow so as to see him better. The detective looked across at her and quickly caught her around the waist, dragging her down onto himself again. He placed his cheek on her shoulder and closed his eyes.

"Promise me?"

Meimi looked down at his black head on her chest, "Hmm?"

"Promise me I can die right here." He pressed against the spot to emphasize where he meant to end his days.

Saint Tail giggled and looked down to find him looking up at her. The longing in his eyes burned through her with a welcome fire. Weakly she nodded. She felt she would promise him anything, he had but to ask.

He rolled forward suddenly, never taking his eyes from hers and she felt her breath becoming shallow under his piercing gaze. Without hesitating he reached up, caught the ribbon of her ponytail, and pulled.

In a silky cascade Saint Tail’s hair fell, a waterfall of fire. Asuka Jr.’s delighted cry of pleasure was echoed by hers of surprise. Meimi’s head dropped back as he liberated the ribbon from her blazing tresses. His hands greedily caught the soft mass as it slid free. She felt his fingers slide along the back of her head as he sat forward, his arms reaching from her waist to where the ponytail had been. Meimi wrapped her arms around him, her chin resting on the top of his head, her hair a blanket over them both. She could hear him, repeating her name, and she closed her eyes, blocking all other thoughts from her mind but one, Asuka Jr.

His panting breath on her skin caused a shiver to ripple through her body. The surprising sensation that followed this shutter made her want to repeat it. Pulling off her gloves she quickly raked her fingers into his hair, moving swiftly, before she lost her nerve. He involuntarily moaned in pleasure at her touch and lifting his head up looked into her eyes. She picked up one of his hands, covered it with her own and placed it on her shoulder. Slowly she drew it down her bare arm until his hand was on her own, and then she drew it back up. He added his other hand to her free arm and repeated the action. It amazed him to think that anything so soft could exist on earth. When both his hands were again on her shoulders she leaned toward him, her hair forming a sort of tent around them. He wove his fingers back into the silky tresses.

Asuka Jr. locked eyes with her, a mute request evident on his face. Meimi nodded slowly, her breath growing weaker and weaker, her eyes on his lips. She slid her knees apart, bring herself level with him so they were eye to eye. He carefully leaned toward her, unsure, but unwilling to stop. She nodded again, a barely perceptible movement that encouraged him further. Her silent willingness sobered him with the thought of heaven on earth. His hands worked free of her hair and came to rest on her shoulders, gently drawing her closer. Asuka Jr. titled his head, his eyes half closed as he moved toward her. Meimi felt her whole being straining toward him and the promise he was offering. With a sigh that came from her soul she closed her eyes and waited for the touch that would change her life. His hands slid up her neck and cradled her head as his gently mouth came down on hers.

Suddenly he felt himself falling. Falling again from the room, from the life he had been imprisoned in and coming to rest into the safety she represented. Once again she had saved him. Her soft, cool lips, her warm skin; he opened his eyes, convinced he was dreaming. Her closed eyes presented themselves to his searching gaze. Her perfect lashes, her smooth skin; she was so real. His wonderful dream was a reality and his heart soared at the sight.

Reluctantly he pulled away only to see her, unmoving, eyes closed. He smiled and gently, tentatively, pressed his lips to hers again. As he pulled back a slow smile spread over her face and her eyes very slowly open to reveal the same shining love he had witnessed before. With a shout of ecstasy he fell backward.


The sound came from his heart and grew as it exploded from that source. Meimi giggled shyly, a blush covering her face. He smiled to hear her and reached up to tenderly caress her warm cheek.

"Won’t you speak my Meimi? Won’t you say something?" he asked, a pleading look in his eyes.

The little thief clasped her hands to her chest and looked down at him. Kneeling over him, he looked so vulnerable beneath her. Meimi suddenly saw that she held his entire life in her closed hands. Tears began to well in her eyes. His thumb gently rubbed her cheek where the tears escaped and ran down her face. She smiled at him and at his effort to comfort her. There was no doubt her heart was bursting, as the love she felt for him became words.

"I love you," she whispered, her voice soft from disuse. "I love you Asuka Jr. I’ve loved you for so long." Her words were a mere breath, but in the stillness of the evening air they fell on his ears like a benediction. "I love you. I do. I do." She nodded her head, tears flowing freely, as her joy became manifest. She caught his hand, bloody and bruised from breaking the mirror, and pressed his palm to her lips. "Asuka Jr.…."

He sat forward and wound his free hand in her hair. "Meimi," he whispered, his voice choked with emotion. She looked up from his palm and he could see her love, a beacon to her safe harbor. She leaned into his mouth and allowed her life to meld with his, knowing she would never desire another person like she desired him.