Well, hello my lovely readers. For those of you who have read my stories, please pardon the wait between chapters, but I am currently very busy. I'm a working lady now so my job eats up my time. To those who have never read my works, I do hope you enjoy this little oneshot. I wrote it a while ago and just found it today and decided to dust it off and post it. Now, without further interruptions, I present to you the story.

Across Time Zones

Mairin always thought love was a feeling that could last a lifetime, that true love was something that was unmistakable and special. Something you should cherish and hold on to for as long as possible.

Apparently, Ethan didn't get that memo.

She stared at him for a while, watching as his eyes fell to the floor in a show of unease. He always was bad at any talks that dealt with their relationship, always having been shy when it came to love, but she hadn't minded. Honestly, she had always thought it was cute. Now it verged on irritating and she wondered if she could perhaps beat it out of him, but she reminded herself that she had never been a violent person. At the moment, however, she desperately wanted to kick him if only to check if it was all a bad dream.

"I'm really sorry, Mairin," he said, and she thought she could hear the apologetic tone of his voice, but ignored it.

"You know I wouldn't do this if I didn't have to, but my father already set everything up and we're leaving soon."

"How soon?" Mairin asked.

Ethan had to struggle not to flinch at the way she narrowed her usually kind blue eyes in an accusing manner. He knew she wouldn't like this, but he hoped she would understand. After all, it was true that he wouldn't break up with her if he didn't have to, they had been together for too long and cared about each other far too much for something like that to happen.

Ever since the day they had met in middle school, Ethan had known there was no one like Mairin. She was kind and funny and very pretty, but also strong in a way that could seem as her merely being stubborn to others, but he knew better. She was the type of person that would stand up for others if they couldn't do it themselves, who would not be bullied around and who would not give up on anything once she set her mind to it, and he loved her for it, maybe because he had never been as determined as her.

Most likely, that was why he was now being dragged to a whole new country by his father, who had finally gotten tired of the dull life and loveless marriage he was trapped in and had decided to escape and start a new life after a rather messy divorce. Unfortunately, his new life included his son, who was now forced to give up the most important thing to him because his father, in all his excitement, had not thought of what the new move meant for Ethan. Perhaps if he had been a braver person he would have protested, but this was important to his father and he wanted to be there for him now that the man had no one else.

Mairin would have understood this, if it wasn't for the fact that she was now so hurt she hid it with an impressive display of killing intent directed at her once dear boyfriend. Gathering his courage, Ethan answered her.

"In two days."

Oh yes, she was furious, he could tell by the way she sat back on the park bench and folded her hands over her lap. It was one of the things she did when she was overly frustrated or just in a raging mood. Ethan thought it had something to do with keeping herself from killing someone.

"So you're leaving in two days?"

He nodded, wary of her calm tone of voice.

"And you thought to tell me this now?"

There was an edge to her voice that told him she was really trying to not just storm off. He was grateful for that.

"I was only just told a few days ago," Ethan justified himself.

"Besides, I wanted to be with you for as long as I could, even if it was just for a bit longer."

Mairin couldn't help but feel both annoyed and touched by that. Ethan had always been good at shirking his way out of trouble by saying something sweet. It was irritating, really. How was she supposed to be angry when he was so damn charming? She sighed and looked at the people strolling through the park, so happy and carefree. She wished she could do the same with Ethan.

"You're an idiot," she finally said, and Ethan had the decency to hang his head at that.

"But...I'm glad you did this."

The teenage boy looked up as Mairin did the same. She smiled at him.

"I always did hate long distance relationships."

It took a while, during which the two just stared, the boy's hazel eyes wide in surprise, and then he chuckled. Mairin stood and stretched, her short brown hair shining in the bright sunlight filtering through the trees. Ethan watched, knowing he would miss her dearly before standing up as well. Silently, they began to make their way out of the park and it wasn't until they were crossing the gates that they spoke.

"You better call me," Mairin said suddenly, startling the young man beside her.

"Just because we're not dating anymore doesn't mean we can't be friends."

Ethan smiled and at her, his eyes shining happily beneath inky black bangs.

"Of course I will, you'll hunt me down if I don't."

Mairin just huffed in indignation and they joked around all the way back to her home.

There was an awkward silence when they stood before the neat front lawn of the girl's house, neither knowing what to say. For a moment, Ethan wanted to forget about the whole breaking up thing. He wanted to just tell Mairin that he didn't care anymore, that it didn't matter how far away he was, that he still wanted to be with her. So what if they couldn't see each other? He would still call as often as he could, he would send her presents on special days like birthdays and Christmas, he would listen to her when she was upset about something. Hell, he would even go without sleep, ignoring the drastically different time zones, to speak with her for a good amount of time. But he couldn't, because that would be selfish.

He couldn't tell her to wait for him when he knew it would be at least three years until he could return. He couldn't tie her down to him when he couldn't be with her when she needed him, when the best he could do was call her and listen to whatever was wrong with her, not being able to do anything. Ethan loved Mairin, and for that he would give her the freedom to choose what she wanted to do, to fall in love again if she was able to and to be happy, even if it was with someone else.

Ethan did not expect her to suddenly hug him.

He stood there, surprised at the unexpected action from Mairin, but quickly relaxed and held her. They didn't say anything, they didn't need to.

After a while, Mairin drew back and she offered him a small smile even though her eyes glistened in a way that showed how sad she truly was.

"I guess this is goodbye," she said.

Ethan nodded.

"For now."

They stood there for a moment, neither one wanting to leave just yet, but they knew it couldn't be helped.

"Well take care, and don't end up lost somewhere in a strange place."

Ethan smiled at that. Leave it to Mairin to ruin a mushy, sentimental moment.

"I won't and take care too."

Mairin gave him one more smile, a smile that was struggling to stay up, and left.

Ethan watched her enter the house and heard the front door close with a soft sound before walking away. He was glad she still wanted to speak to him, glad he hadn't lost her, even if it all still hurt. He would miss her, but he wouldn't be gone forever and Mairin was stubborn. If she chose to, she would wait for him, no matter how many times people told her to forget about her lazy jerk of a boyfriend that left her to vacation somewhere in Europe. And he loved her for that.

Well, there you have it. It actually took me a bit longer to write than I had thought, but my skills at writing romance are a tad rusty and I was never the best to start with, but I do hope you've enjoyed it.

To those awaiting updates:

Mirror of Reveries is in the works, as are Chronos and Kuroi. Detention will take some time seeing as I lost my inspiration from it. Updates will be slow due to lack of time. Please pardon this and be patient. I await your reviews for any of my stories anxiously. They make my day. Thank you for reading!