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Another summer day
Has come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I want to go home

'How long has it been?' Setsuna thought as she flipped over the small table calendar in her hands, mentally counting the days since she left Japan. It's been too long. She has grown, not necessarily in height but she had matured. At least she didn't look like high school student anymore, she was thankful for that. The years she had worked for the dean, and then those when she left made her strong and independent physically and mentally.

A pale hand came up to brush the long strands of black hair behind her ear, she had let it grow only having it trimmed from time to time. The length somehow gave her a sense of familiarity. She has an inkling that it had something to do with the fact that most of her closest friends sported long hairs. It was a bit troublesome to tend to but she's grown fond of it. Letting her fingers run through her hair she let herself smile slightly as the feeling of something akin to delight swirled in her chest.

Setsuna sighed, letting her eyes wander around her surroundings. The room was bathed in darkness, with the only source of light coming from the small gap between the dark curtains. A duffle bag lay at the foot of her bed, clothes fresh and used were haphazardly shoved into it. A small pile of papers were on top of the unkempt bed, along with a small green book and a dark blue jacket.

Outside of her room Setsuna picked up a muffled but familiar noise and her gaze automatically snapped to the closed door. The foreign words were spoken softly, sweetly, a manner in which it should sound courteous, even though it was only mandatorily spoken. Housekeeping.

She had better get moving.

Tearing her eyes away from the closed door Setsuna pulled something from the back of the calendar. It was picture, taken not too long before her departure. Its sides were slightly bent, as if it was taken out often, and yellowing with age. With a gentleness in which the hanyou rarely displayed she began caressing the surface with her thumb, her eyes locked at the faces smiling up at her. Despite herself her lips began to twist up at the sides, forming a crooked sort of smile.

It had been too long, far too long.

With one last look at the picture Setsuna pushed off the bed, tossing the calendar at the open bag before leaning down to zip the bag close. Slipping on the Jacket she hefted the bag over her shoulder and collected the papers off the bed, carefully slipping the photo in between the small book before slipping said book in her jacket pocket, before making her way to the door.

May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just want to go home
Oh I miss you, you know

Setsuna tightened her grip on her bag as she navigated through the crowded entrance of the airport. The air was humid and smelt like a mixture of sweat, a sickly strong mixture of perfumes and other things Setsuna didn't want to think about. Her dark iris shifted to the sides from time to time, looking out for danger. A force of habit, something she had never outgrown.

Slipping out of the heavy crowd she breathed a sigh of relief as the comfortable warm air from the heaters surrounded her. Without a single glance back at the crowd exchanging their farewell wishes Setsuna moved forward, her gaze locked onto the small counter with the red lights flashing the word Setsuna longed to see. Japan.

"Good morning Ma'am, may I see your ticket and passport please?" The attendant asked courteously in perfect English. Digging into her Jacket Setsuna procured her green passport, the tip of her ticket sticking out at the top. Without a sound she set the book onto the desk, slipping the picture out beforehand and returning it in the confines of her pocket. The attendant thanked her and asked her whether she wanted to send her bag into the baggage. Setsuna declined the offer, her tone emotionless as she adjusted her bag so that it was out of the attendants view.

After a while the attendant returned her passport as she cheerily directed Setsuna to the waiting room.

Setsuna nodded and mumbled a thanks as she left.

And I've been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
"I'm fine baby, how are you?"

Setsuna inhaled the sweet scent of the steaming black coffee in front of her. Her cold fingers curled around the cup, absorbing the heat from the cup to her slowly numbing fingers. Leisurely sipping the hot goodness she sighed contentedly as the warm feeling vibrated through her lithe body.

With a small frown her eyes travelled over to the small pile of papers neatly stacked beside her important traveling papers. Letters, undelivered, wrinkled from all the folding done over the year. Some were stained, others looked like they were crumpled then smoothed out. The more recent of them were folded neatly, ready to be sent but didn't even have the chance to reach the post office. All of them addressed to the same person.

Well I would send them but I know that it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

One by one Setsuna began scanning through them. They were short, a couple of lines written at the spur of the moment, so it didn't take her long to finish riffling through them. All of them failed her expectations. They sounded too distant and unemotional. They didn't seem to be the ones that would suit to Konoka's status.

With a grunt of disapproval Setsuna began crumpling every last one of the letters, hastily stuffing them down the garbage chute by her table. They were of no use now.

She glanced over to the window just in time to see the accent of the one o'clock plane.

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I want to go home

Pulling out her ticket from beneath her green passport she quickly took note of her departure time.

1:30 pm.

It wasn't too long now, she thought. Downing the cooling remains of her coffee Setsuna exhaled contentedly.

Let me go home
I'm just too far from where you are
I want to come home

She was going home.

And I feel just like I'm living someone else's life
It's like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right

It was graduation day. All the graduates assembled at the gym where chairs were neatly arranged from side to side. There was a joyous buzz as the students filed in. It was the day they've all been waiting for. It was the day that marked their moment as no longer children and just simple teens. It was the day that they would be called young adults. After that day they would call the shots, whether they proceed to college or start working real jobs, not just part time, it was their choice alone, and maybe a little peer pressure have something to do with it.

Yes almost everyone was joyful. Nothing could ruin this moment for them.

"Are you really leaving?" It was a simple question, answerable with either a yes or no. Normally Setsuna could've easily provided the answer. It wasn't exactly a hard question after all. What made it hard though was the disgruntled look that came with the question. Heterochromatic eyes searched her face for clues to the answer, though Setsuna had a suspicion that the girl already knew the answer.

They were at the side of the gymnasium, as far away from the crowd so they could talk privately but close enough to hear the announcements coming from the speakers.

"Well Setsuna? Are you?" The red head asked, a little too roughly. Her brows were drawn together as she sent Setsuna a hard glare. It was rare to see Asuna glare at her like that, considering there never was a reason for her to, at least up until now.

Setsuna let her gaze drop. She didn't like the way Asuna was acting, it almost felt like she was provoking her. She knew she couldn't win a verbal fight against Asuna. She had a feeling that if she answered Asuna would unleash hell at her.

Luckily Asuna let up, sighing in irritation as she turned around and started to walk away. Setsuna made to follow but stopped in her tracks when Asuna spoke in a low voice that only she could hear. "What about Konoka?"

And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
This was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Setsuna needed to get out of Japan, to roam the world for a little while. She knew she could do it. Maybe get jobs here and there when she could, and raise enough for a trip to the next city. It would be a fun adventure, something she just wanted to do. And after graduation was just too great an opportunity to pass, she had already saved enough money for a plane ticket to the next country and then some. It was a great help that she packs light, she wasn't exactly the materialistic type of person.

She hasn't told anybody of her plan, with the exception of the dean and Eishun of course. Both men had extended their approval and congratulations, though when they did Setsuna couldn't shake the feeling that there was something in their actions that had disturbed her. Brushing it off as jitters from the thought of leaving Japan, her home, she continued her planning.

She wanted to ask Konoka to go with her, and so she didn't forget to ask both men and was quite relieved to hear that they had no problem with that saying "If she wants to then so be it", they even offered her monetary support which, though she was grateful, she graciously declined their offer.

It was the week before graduation day, they were in Konoka's shared room, when Setsuna decided to surprise the heiress of her good news, finally ending it with her asking for Konoka's accompaniment. How she missed the signs was completely beyond her, the way the two Konoe men acted, the change in the air when she finally told Konoka about her plans and the way the smile slowly faded from the princess's face.

"I can't." Konoka said simply. She hung her head, staring at her clasp hands on her lap as if they were the most interesting things she's seen. "I'm going to study magic... after graduation." She shook her head, smiling ruefully though Setsuna couldn't see it. Setsuna wanted to ask if she could postpone her pursuits in magic but felt bad at the selfish way it sounded in her mind, and instead she kept her mouth shut.

Konoka never asked her to change her mind. She avoided talking about the trip and magic throughout their last week together for who-knows-how-long and instead made sure that they spent every minute worthwhile. She made sure to take pictures, memento's as she daintily calls them, for Setsuna to take with her. As much as she wanted for Setsuna to stay by her side she couldn't find it in herself to tell the girl.

The last words Setsuna heard from Konoka the day she left were nothing but encouragement and the occasional I'll miss you. As the intercom announce the departure Konoka pulled Setsuna back and leaned in to peck her cheeks. Setsuna stood shocked, and then began blushing heavily. Konoka giggled as she hurried Setsuna on. In a bit of a daze Setsuna nodded once, a hand on her cheeks and her head in the clouds, and turned to leave. She never saw the tears slipping down the princess's face.

I've had my run
Baby, I'm done
I gotta go home

Setsuna jolted awake as a rather strong turbulence shook the plane. She bit the insides of her cheeks, forcing down the bile rising up her throat. She never was a fan of planes, it was much too cramped and nauseating. She would have rather taken flight with her wings, which unfortunately would probably kill her before she got to her destination. Besides it was nearly impossible to take flight back in the city, there was barely anything there that could conceal her during flight.

Another wave of dipping and Setsuna had the armrest in a death grip, her face turning a slight shade of green. After a while there was a ting and the lights for the seatbelt turned off. With a sigh of relief Setsuna let herself relax. She pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to diminish the queasiness.

"Would you like a glass of water?" a voice asked. Setsuna's lips quirked up at the familiar Japanese flowing through the stewardess' mouth. It's been so long since she last heard her home language, she really missed it. Still smiling she nodded in response.

The stewardess smiled back and made to go when Setsuna shot a hand out "W-wait," looking at her out-stretched hand Setsuna ducker her head, heavily blushing "s-sorry, but may I ask how long until we land?" she mumbled.

The stewardess giggled lightly. "Won't be long now miss. Anything else?"

"No, just the water thank you." The stewardess nodded once and left. Setsuna sighed. Turning her attention to the widow she smiled to herself as white cotton candy like clouds passed by. She could barely see anything past the clouds but the thought of going home was all she needed to know to make her recline back into the, less than comfortable, seat in content.

"Won't be long huh?" She scoffed, oh how many times had she thought that just today. Her fingers traced the outline of her jacket pocket and she felt a pull in her chest. It was like the time she left and yet not so. Her smile widened.

Let me go home

It was late into the afternoon when the plane finally landed on safe ground. Setsuna, though she'd been in multiple plane rides, never got use to the gut dropping decline and the jarring landing of the plane. As passengers one by one made their way to the front Setsuna opted to stay behind, to get a hold of her bearings.

She was thankful for the cool spring air as she made her way out, it was like a potion for rejuvenation. Switching her bag onto her other hand she gracefully descended from the plane and onto the awaiting bus. It was cramped compared to that from the plane but she wasn't complaining, it was a relatively short ride anyway.

It will all be right

It wasn't that Setsuna was hoping for a huge welcoming party, rather it was the opposite. Though she had texted a couple of people that she was on the plane ride home she had imagine only a handful people, 2 or 3 at most, to actually greet her on her arrival.

Seeing as her belongings were already with her she was the first in her group to leave the baggage station. She had the weird feeling in her chest ever since she arrived, a lightness accompanied by a strange sensation she couldn't quite understand. Putting it under the pretence of finally returning home from being absent for so long she shrugged it off.

Turning the corner she stopped in her tracks, her mouth slacking at the sight before her.

I'll be home tonight

The years have truly bought change, in a lot of aspects. The friends she has come to know, even the few whom she thought she would probably never see again, were there. They all looked different, matured different, almost unrecognizable, but she was sure it was them. There was a loud cheer, more than enough to attract the attention of those around them, though, Setsuna thought, the huge banners probably had a lot to do with it. Even without those she was sure her classmates would probably still find a way to attract attention one way or another. Good to know some things will never change.

Surprisingly Mana was present, so were Evangeline and Chachamaru. Even more surprising, dean Konoe and leader Eishun were there. Negi was there too, it took her a second but she has seen the grown-up version of Negi multiple times already to know it was him, plus the neatly pressed suit, the messy blazing red hair and the familiar white ermine perched on his shoulder was a dead giveaway.

What really caught her attention were the loud calls, accompanied by a few vulgar curses, courtesy of the volatile red head. Beside her was their blond haired class representative, trying to calm their friend down. Asuna merely laughed as she slapped her hand at the back of one familiar brunette beside her.

Setsuna felt her throat clog up as brown doe-like eyes peered at her from behind chocolate colored fringes. Konoka blushed, her bright smile betraying her nervousness. She took a deep breath and started walking towards her. Their classmates started their round of cat-calls and whistling but Konoka paid no mind to them.

Setsuna felt the corners of her lips quirk up as she too began walking, closing their distance. She opened her arms when they were but a few feet apart, her bag dropped with a thud on the floor as Konoka all but jumped at her. Her arms automatically locked around Konoka's waist as Konoka's arms curled around the back of her neck. There was a tingling sensation going down her back, her heart began beating faster and her smile turned into a full out grin.

Their friends became rowdier, some began high fiving while others continued calling out to them. Konoka pulled back a little, giggling at their friend's antics and gently rested her forehead against Setsuna's. "You grew your hair out." She said, running her fingers down Setsuna's mane.

"Yeah. Like it?" Setsuna said, blushing a little.

"I love it."

I'm coming back home

"Welcome back." Konoka mumbled as she closed the distance. Her lips softly planted against Setsuna's. She sighed happily when Setsuna kissed back. Konoka thought back to all the romance books she read, about how kisses felt like. It was completely different from what she thought now that she was actually experiencing it. Gingerly they pulled apart, both blushing as they gaze into each other's eyes.

Setsuna smiled, her eyes held a loving gaze as she stared back at the woman in her arms. She pulled Konoka back into a hug, her chin resting on Konoka's shoulder and she mumbled "It's great to be back."
And... it’s done.

The story is based on the song Home by Michael Bublé. Dammit I have a soft spot for these kinds of songs.

Ahem, anyways...

I just realize that there are always mentions of pictures in most of my works. Funny thing is I don’t even carry a single photo with me. lol

So for my next project what do you guys think on going into the more somber type? Say “The Hardest Thing” by 98 degrees or maybe “Far Away” by Nickelback. I know the songs are old, but I like them. If you can think of a better song leave a comment or pm me.

Till next time.
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Submitted on
June 22, 2012
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