He takes a deep breath. Glancing at the date on his phone he lets out a long sigh. Two days, he thinks to himself, two long days until we meet again. Normally Ren doesn't mind having to fly on a different day than the rest of the crew, but he is anxious about this upcoming trip and the waiting was becoming unbearable. When he first came back to Japan he never thought he would be in this position, wanting to head back to America. With the pain of losing Rick and believing he did not have the right to love someone, he never imagined sitting on his living room floor with his head against his couch staring longingly into the kitchen. Aching for the presence of someone else and counting down the days until he could meet her there, in the place where everything changed.

Ren looks around his apartment. The ghost of her presence was everywhere. In every space, every little thing reminded him of her. The apron hung up by the fridge. The special slippers by the front door. The replica necklace he wore. The guest bedroom across the hall. Being here was almost tortuous as he couldn't just pick up the phone and call her, or wait until the morning and see her at work. Normally a few days may go by before he could see her in person unless Yashiro managed to match their schedules, but in Japan at least, there always was the comfort of knowing she was in the city. If she needed him, he could be there. If he needed her, he could find her. But now she was an ocean and several time zones away.

Sighing again, Ren looks down at the items lay splayed out on the table in front of him. Even the items he was getting ready to pack were mementos from her. The sheep pillow, the glittering blue stone, the mini charm, the acorn holder. He needed these reminders of her, these pieces of her care for him to keep him sane as he prepared to face his demons at home.

His expression darkens as he is reminded of what, and whom, he is getting ready to face. Gripping his empty wrist Kuon's mind races into the past. The feelings of disappointment, failure and rage build up as memories of his childhood and teenage years crowd his mind. Feeling himself spiraling in the dark, Kuon reaches out and grabs the stone on the table, needing an anchor for his memories through this link of both his past and his present.

Sometime later, his phone beeps. Glancing at it, a smile graces his face as he sees the message notification. Opening it, he is greeted with a picture of Kyoko on set, arms looped with Kotonami-san as they look around. Just arrived on set! This place is amazing! Yashiro-san kindly took a photo of Moko and I. I can't wait until you join us!

Neither can I, Kuon sends back, have fun! Looking at the picture again, he feels his chest ease a bit. The ache to be with her was still strong, as always, but pacified with this exchange for now. Only two days to go.


A/N: Wow, it has been a while! I always love the challenge of KyokoRen Week, so I'm glad it is happening again this year! Hoping to get back into writing again, so I hope you enjoy whatever this story becomes. Gotta love a pining Ren/Kuon as there is probably more to come! Day 1 Prompt- Never/ Always.