Be warned: There is no happy ending. But this is day 1 of Kyoko/Ren Ship Week 2023: Never/Always. I own nothing!

Mogami Kyoko.

It had been a long time since he'd heard that name.

Oh, he'd heard the name Kyouko plenty - her stage name, the one everyone called her. But Mogami Kyoko? He hadn't heard that name in years.

Not since he'd boarded that plane, promising to come back when he was worthy of her. To come back, and for them to be together, once he'd achieved his goals.

He never had.

They'd called as often as they could, at first - but with their schedules and the time zone difference, it had been impossible to manage. They hadn't even seen each other that much when they were both in the same country, never mind being an ocean apart.

When was the last time he'd heard her voice, talking just to him?

He hated that he couldn't remember.

There had been so many times when he'd wanted to call her, to talk to her, to just hear her voice - but had stopped himself. There was always a good reason, too: It's too late in Japan. He was in the middle of filming. He was surrounded by paparazzi. She might be busy.

He wished he could call her now.

He clutched the Corn stone - his stone, her stone, his stone - and watched a sunset she would have loved. The crazy impulse to call her now, to damn the consequences, washed over him.

But he knew she wouldn't answer. She couldn't answer.

Not anymore.

It didn't feel real to him, not really. He wondered if it ever would. It had been a week since he heard the news - since he learned that he would never see her again. Never hold her, never talk to her. Never be able to see her smile light up a room again.

Mogami Kyoko, rising star, had died at twenty, two months before coming to California to start filming what would have been her international debut. Two months before his plan to meet her at the airport and beg for a second chance.

He had the ring in his pocket even now.

A tragic accident, they'd called it. She had been trying to cross the street, and a driver hadn't seen her. It had been instant - painless. Gone before she hit the ground. That's how they'd tried to reassure him.

It hadn't worked.

The last rays of sunshine slipped beneath the horizon as he watched. Her funeral was tomorrow. He'd wanted to come back to Japan for her, but never like this.

He wished that he had never left. That he had always been by her side. Then maybe - no, he couldn't start thinking like that. She wouldn't like it.

He sat there, in their clearing, watching as the stars started to reflect in the water. A place that had only been theirs. He wondered if she was here now. He closed his eyes, and the wind on his face was the ghost of her fingers.

He had sworn that his heart would always be hers, and it was true.

He just never thought that their first kiss would also be their last.