This is just a story. Not much to it. I don't plan to make anything out of this, I just really wanted to get something down. It may seem confusing. Good. This is what you make of it. All my stories are always T, just saying. Don't freak, minor adult themes at work here folks. Minor.

She didn't know. She swears to God that she didn't know.

He raises his face to look at the sunrise, sniffs the cool morning air, and looks around. Many people are up and about, doing their normal daily routines. He sits on a bench, admiring the natives who live here. Of course, he stands out with a blond mess of hair upon his head. Brown eyes are more common, but he has gotten used to the fact that very few people speak proper English. He'd caught on.

Japan had definitely changed him.

She can't stay still at all that day, even with her lack of coffee. It seems that everywhere she goes, there is a constant reminder of the ultimatum at hand, and it makes her twitch. It makes her fidget. She even tries to take a nap mid-day, but it doesn't really help her at all. When she wakes, she's suddenly more aware of her surroundings. Remembers.

He sits at the airport, watching the semi-happy people come and go. Most of them meet up with families, hugs and kisses are exchanged. Sometimes he can hear the Japanese word for mom or dad being thrown around, and though it is illogical, he thinks about his parents. They're still in the same place they were when he was in high school, though it isn't them that drove him away. It was the fact that he needed to do something different for once, needed his time, needed his space. Needed to do something with his life. Needed to get away from her.

There's a wait time for everything. She can't understand how it had already been five years. She had graduated college last year, took some time off, danced around from job to job never really finding what she was looking for. Because what she was looking for laid far away, in an exotic land. She misses him more than he would ever know. More than she cares to acknowledge.

She brushes her hair. Strawberry blond, she's always been strawberry blond. It's more deluded now that she is an adult, but you could still tell. It was a nice color. Very nice. Too bad it skips a generation.

There is only one flight left that will make the trip in the right amount of time. He has the ticket that he needs, the ticket that will take him from this wonderful land and bring him back to where he had grown up. Not where he belongs, but where he had grown up. That plane will take him back to his parents. Not directly of course, but still.

He shuts his eyes and thinks. Hears from the distance, the muffled sound of the name 'Mariano.' He looks up immediately, suddenly aware, wanting. He hasn't heard that for a very long time. He misses it. And yet, there is nothing here that suggests that the name was even uttered. He thinks that maybe, he has gone crazy, maybe he has finally lost it because no one would be calling him Mariano. Mainly because no one knows. His memories are acting up again.

He decides.

She's nervous when the day starts. She doesn't know what to think, so she lies in bed for an extra hour. She gets up because she has too. It would only be the truth.

He is tired when they land the first time, but he doesn't sleep. The second time, he's exhausted. The plane isn't that comfortable from the Coach seat, but it gets him from point A to B just as quick. The final exchange of planes made he grow weary of what was ahead, but he told himself that he had options. Thankfully.

She doesn't know how long she sits in the chair, but she scans everyone's face. There is no flight from Japan today, but he said he would be here. Maybe he changed his mind.

He sees her before she sees him, but it doesn't take long for her to spot him.

She notices that he has gotten taller, but more muscular. He still looks the same, but with a few differences that only the trained eye would notice. She notices immediately. She also stands, from her spot, and walks toward the person in question. The person who had been gone for so long. Yet, everything seemed so familiar. It was almost nice. Almost.

"Hi." She isn't nervous. That's the lie of the century.

"Hi back." This was the game they were going to play. He was okay with that, it had been five- scratch that, three years. He hadn't expected her to fall into his arms upon arrival. He had known that it wouldn't happen. It still stung.

"You've changed." It's not a question that leaves her mouth, though she could hardly help it.

"I have."

"You look good." She gives him a once over. Hair, eyes, features, still the same. Taller, so that she has to actually look up. Buffer, yes. Neck tattoo barely visible from the collar of hisshirt, that was new. His wardrobe wasn't the same, it was more modern. And yet it fit him.

"So do you." He knows what she is doing. Her hair has gotten lighter, maybe, or maybe he's just been away for too long a time. Her eyes were a different color now, but he never remembered her wear glasses, so maybe it wasn't contacts. While he had gotten taller, gotten a tattoo, learned the ways of the world and the people in it, she had stayed almost the exact same. "The thing is, you haven't changed. Not a bit."

Her face was expressionless. She blinked twice. It stung a little. "I have changed. It's just been five years since you remember anything about me."

He smiles.


"Not five years. More like three. There was that time that you-"

"I remember."

He's silent.

She doesn't say a thing. Wonders who will crack first, if she'll be the one broken on the floor, or if it'll be him. She know that it can't end the way that she wants it too, so maybe she'll set herself up for failure. What's the worst that can happen?

"I've missed you." He breaks first.

Quiet surprising, when she thinks about it. And then, she thinks that it isn't all that surprising after all. He's been away for too long and she hasn't talked to him for longer than she would like. She pushes her bangs that she didn't have three years ago back, and he looks around the building.

He doesn't really want to keep up the act. "We should get outta here, huh Livy?"

She remembers the first time that he ever said that to her, ever called her Livy, and silently, she wonders where the days have gone. The days of carefree high school, spending nights cramming for a science test, of crying on his shoulder when her boyfriend broke up with her, and of being called Olivia. Of course, she knows that those days transformed into days of laying on the couch with her head in his lap and vise versa while the TV hummed along in the background. Days where they would only see each other all day, and nights where he snuck in her bedroom.

Then there were days where she was feeling particularly crappy and took it out on him, and she knew that he knew everything about her, but she still felt so guilty. There were days where she was busy all day long with her school work and extra-curricular activities, where she couldn't get away all day and didn't even see him. And there were nights when he made so much noise that her parents would come in the room to see what all the ruckus was about. She smiled.

They had been so freaked out the first night they had found him in her room at the edge of her bed. Very freaked out. That had been the night of the Talk, of the 'where the hell do your parents think you are mister?' and of denying at least a hundred time that they weren't sleeping together. At least they trusted her enough to know that she wasn't lying. They trusted him too, she supposed, because they had known each other for so long, and they actually liked him. And they sent him home without a scratch.

Still, after that, there were days when he would be especially quiet and she felt safe when he was curled up behind her. And she swore there were days when her mother would come up to check on her and leave them to sleep. Then there were days when her father would check on her, and he would wake them both up. Her father would make him go home, but every once in a while, Mariano would ask for five more minutes and end up staying the whole night. They really were in love.

She sighed. "Yep. We should... Mariano." The name rolled off her tongue before she could stop it, but she didn't regret it.

"Ugh. Please don't use my middle name. I like Ryder just fine, thank you very much." Though he knew that the familiarity felt amazing rolling off her tongue. He knew how it felt the just say her name over and over, even if she was thousands and thousands of miles away.

"I like Mariano. Very... Vallejo, Mexican-American War, 1800's if you know what I mean. And it fits you better than Ryder. Or Lyndon."

"So not. Mariano is more... tall and dark."

She laughed. He laughed. They laughed. And then, everything is back to normal. Almost