A/N: Sorry this took so long, and it probably could be better, but it's late and I've waited long enough to post it as it is. Enjoy!

Ryo knelt, head bowed, in front of a black-clad figure, shadows blending with its form.

"Have you completed your task?"

The voice was deep and booming, but Ryo knew it was a guise. His master's true voice – and face – was hidden.

"Yes, my lord." Ryo replied, keeping his voice steady.

"We are pleased with your work. You are dismissed."

He stood and bowed again, then left.

He stared at the floor. It was paved with off-white stone, and the heels of his shoes made strange, hollow sounds as he walked.

"Please...! Don't do this...!"

Ryo stopped. He exhaled slowly and punched the wall.

He wouldn't think about Ash. He wouldn't.

But her face crept into his mind, her smile painfully vivid, even behind his closed eyes.

He'd done it all for her. No matter what had been said, what had been done, he'd loved her to the end. Her end... at his hands.

He clenched his fists and tried to think of something else, anything else. Anything but her gentle emerald eyes... her soft brown hair tumbling over her slender shoulders... the way she leaned into his arms when he hugged her, like with him was the only place she wanted to be...

All gone.

Hot tears forced their way down his cheeks, try as he might to suppress them. Fury and anguish burned in his chest.

"Ashley..." He whispers, searching for her hand in the dark.

"Hm?" She murmurs, staring up at the stars scattered across the sky.

"Tell me tomorrow will never come."

She looks at him like he's crazy, but he can see the light in her eyes when she smiles at him, and he knows she loves him.

He holds her hand a little too tightly, and she pulls away with a nervous laugh.

"Is something wrong?" She says in hushed tones, her eyes staring into his, as though trying to see into his soul.

He looks away. "No."

She'll never know just how wrong everything is.

And how much he would come to regret his choice.

Ryo shook his head, as though he could rid himself of her ghost with the wave of a hand.

He didn't want to remember the night it had started... the night he'd pledged his oath to his master...

He could hear her voice now, though she'd never said the words: "What did they promise you, Ryo?"

He closed his eyes to reach out, to answer, to call her back from the mists where he'd exiled her, to promise that it would all be okay, to promise that soon, she wouldn't be alone, that she would never be alone again... "Your happiness." He whispered.

But it was no use. She couldn't hear him.

He found the knife in his belt and stared at the crimson-stained blade. He hadn't washed it. It was morbid, but it was all he had left.

"Do you believe in forever?" Ash whispers.

He just laughs. "Of course not. It's impossible."

Ash smiles. "Why does impossible have to mean disbelief? I like impossible things."

He rolls his eyes and wraps his arms around her. "Apparently so do I, because I can see I won't win this argument."

"If she could believe in itβ€”" Ryo plunged the knife into own his heart, wishing with his last breath that forever existed.

"We'll be together now Ash..." He whispered. "Always."

Together in the only place forever might exist... He liked the sound of that.