Don't Lose Hope

I will walk together with you, never giving up on the hope that someday, our hopes will pierce through the cloudy sky and reach our dreams.

These were the thoughts running through Van Himura's head as he walked the beaten-up sidewalk, hands in his pockets and head down.

Sure, that's what she wrote. But where is she now? I shouldn't have ever believed that.

His eyes grew a little misty, the result every time he thought of 'her'.

"Excuse me, are you Van Himura?"

Van looked up at the sound of his name.

"….Maybe. What do you want?"

The one asking the question was a short, chubby little girl holding on to a huge stuffed bear.
He smiled a bit, then got down on his knees to match her height.
She smiled back.

"Van-oneechan, you shouldn't pretending like that! You know it's me!"
"I know, I know. I was just checking."

He mentally slapped himself for not remembering, but laughed and picked her up.

"Lia, what do you need? I'm…. Kinda busy."

Lia bit on her bear's ear before grinning.

"Azuhi wants to meet with you, in the abandoned old house."

Van's head jerked back, and he remained that way for a few minutes.
When he'd finally recovered from the shock, he put Lia down and stood up, hands clenched angrily.

"And what does she want? Not apologizing again; I already said I wouldn't forgive her!"

Lia cowered behind her bear.

"D-don't yell like that, Van-oneechan! You're scaring me!"
"I'm sorry, Lia. But why did she send you?"

Lia pouted and crossed her arms, choking her poor bear.

"I wanted to come. Stop blaming everything on Azuhi-sensei. Just because you fought before doesn't mean you need to drag me into everything between you."

She then stomped off, clearly offended.
Van stared after her, not sure what to do.
Deep inside, he wanted to see her, but memories of the past swirled around, preventing him to show any happiness.

"Fine. I'll see her."

His fist tightened once more, and he set off to his destination.

Van hadn't been sitting in the old sofa to long when the door creaked open, and there stood his old friend Azuhi Matsumoto.
So now, this was the new manga-sensei?

He raised his head, sending ice-cold glares her way, but it seemed she was oblivious of the hateful aura surrounding him.

"Hi, Van, how are you?"
"Don't 'hi' me! What do you want?"

Van wished she'd step out of the shadows already, and just as he was going to ask her to, she did.
He was surprised at her appearance now; she was so chubby before.
The Azuhi Matsumoto of the present was taller, leaner, tanner, and more beautiful.
Ah, now he could see why she hid from the paparazzi all the time.

"Van…. I know you said not to apologize anymore, but I'm really, really, really sorry. I don't know if you could ever forgive me, considering what I did and all."

She began to tear up.
Van frowned, but the sight of Azuhi's tears washed away his anger.

"Alright, alright, I forgive you. Stop crying already, it's making me wanna cry!"

He then gave her a rather hard slap.
Azuhi looked up, face red from the slap, and threw her arms around him tightly.

"I told you.
I will walk together with you, never giving up on the hope that someday, our hopes will pierce through the cloudy sky and reach our dreams.
No matter the things we face, be it destruction or misfortune, dreams will always make a way."
"Idiot, let go! And never diss your friends for fame! Ever!"
"I know, I know. I'm sorry, for the millionth time."

She let go of him, sat down, and looked at her hands.
Van sat down as well.

"Azuhi…. Don't you ever think before you do things?"
"I'm sorry! You probably won't listen, but after I dissed you, Isane, and Kurotoki, life's been miserable."

Van frowned.

"Then what took you so long?"
"I was afraid you'd hit me again, like the last time. But I'm gonna make it right now. Man, I'm the worst friend ever."

She sighed, then laughed like the idiot she was.
Van joined in, and soon the tension in the air was gone.

"Van, what are you doing? Hurry up!"

Van was asleep again, black hair messy as always.

"Get up! Oh man, you fell asleep on the storyboards again, and look at your face! You're gonna walk around flashing spoilers to everyone you meet?"

Azuhi pulled him up roughly and began rubbing the ink off his face.
That woke Van up, and he started complaining about not treating him like his kid.

"The meeting is soon."
"I know, I know! Let me get dressed, will you? I can't go like this."

He tossed his blue hoodie onto a sofa, resulting in several papers with character designs falling off.
Azuhi sighed frustration.

"Did Turn-Over make it into Jump?"

Van pulled on a striped blue-and-white shirt and glanced at a panicking Azuhi.
She was running back and forth from the storyboards he'd fallen asleep on to her laptop.

"Darn! You fell asleep on the storyboards due for today, and they're totally spoiled!"
"I'm supposed to be sorry, but I'm not. Payback for dissin' me."
"You're still thinking about that? We worked it out at the house, remember? A month ago!"
"Whatever. Let's go."

And they set off to their destination: Worldwide Senseis.

A/N: Hello, this isn't the usual yammering of my friend, Ki-Hana. This has officially become a shared account; KYCH and I, who's known as Kisuke in real-life. Yes, this stupid thing was written by me, her best friend! And I'm a guy, so yeah. I know it's sucky, but maybe you might help me…? Thank you, and please review!