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There was something different about Fuwa Sho these days that the media couldn't quite put their collective finger on. Maybe it was just that he'd grown up a little, and was maturing into a global sensation. Maybe it was the new, deeper edge to some of his songs. Maybe he'd just gotten a haircut.

No one knew what was really different - really wrong, though. Not even the girl who had once known him best.

Because she was, of course, what was different about him.

Namely, that she wasn't there.

If someone had asked a fifteen-year-old Sho what would be different about his future self, he never would have guessed Kyoko's absence to be the answer. Because she was Kyoko. Her being there - there for him - was her whole deal. She was his, in a way that he had never dreamed he would want to be hers. No matter what happened, she was there, a supportive shadow, ready to ply him with praise and pudding.

He never thought that Kyoko would have the opportunity to miss him - much less that he would want her to.

There were quiet moments from their early days in Tokyo, the days when they were still friends - well, when he still acted like her friend. When he still remembered to care. Those moments would haunt him, dance around the melodies he wrote until the memories came pouring out onto the page.

One in particular stuck out to him, though he was never quite sure why.

It was early on in their days in Tokyo, when Kyoko was only working one job and he was still scrambling to find an agency. They'd been holed up in a tiny, terrible studio apartment back then, their meager savings barely making ends meet. It must have been two in the morning - he wasn't sure, and he didn't want to move and risk waking her. They were waiting for her first paycheck to buy a second futon. Kyoko had blushed and protested and squealed at the thought of sharing one, but it wasn't like there was much of a choice.

He'd found himself awake, feeling her breathe against his side. The streetlights - they couldn't afford curtains yet - had shone through the window, causing her eyelashes to cast shadows on her cheeks.

It was peaceful in a way he'd never known, and maybe never would again.

If someone had told him then that he would someday long for that moment, that it would haunt him on sleepless nights, he would have called them crazy. Because she was Kyoko. Because if he wanted a night like that so badly, he could just tell her to come lie down next to him. Because she would never stray from his side.

If someone had told him then that in two years' time, he would be the one yearning for her affection, he would have laughed. Would have asked for some of whatever they'd been drinking. Would have rolled his eyes, and maybe gotten some sleep that night.

He never would have thought that just a few years later, her eyes would pass over him in a crowd.

He never could have imagined one day not knowing everything about her - not having her even care to know everything about him.

Or that her name would curl on his tongue as he sang to a crowd of thousands, begging to come out as he sang lyrics he had written for her while she laid in another's arms.

She was a pivotal piece of him, now missing. How could he have ever guessed that this would come to pass?

After all, he was Fuwa Sho.

And she was just Kyoko.

She was Kyoko.